Title Assistive Technology Vocational Education and Training (ATVET)
Project Number UK/07/LLP-LdV/TOI-058
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Country UK-United Kingdom
Marketing Text Our focus lies on developing an education programme for people who support users of Assistive Technology. This will provide them with formal recognition of their skills and knowledge and enhance mobility in employment across Europe.
Research and anecdotal evidence points to a significant proportion of individuals abandoning AT devices, citing lack of support during introduction and use amongst contributing factors. To counter this problem, Hereward College, in collaboration with UK partners in the public and private sectors developed a nationally accredited qualification that focuses on the individual user of AT. With guidance and support from Hereward College, the ATVET project partners will oversee the creation of country-specific VRQ Level 2 (equivalent) vocational qualifications following the developed model. Due to the nature of candidates and their work patterns, the delivery of learning materials and course content will be via an online, country specific Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) as well as through the development of a course handbook by each partner country.
The outcome of the project will impact on AT professionals, the users of AT in all 5 partner countries and on the Vocational Education and Training (VET) systems of each country. AT professionals will be better able to support the appropriate AT for individuals’ needs, users will be empowered to make better decisions ensuring their independence and well-being and VET systems will be enhanced through the availability of a new qualification which will fit within the European Qualifications Framework.
Research has shown that the majority of employed care providers have access to formal qualifications in health and social care starting at level 2. However, in relation to supporting users of AT, no formal qualifications exist. (Foundation for Assistive Technology (FAST), 2007)
In the UK there are 4 million users of disability equipment services from National Health Service (NHS) and local authority (Social Services), including hearing aids, wheelchairs, equipment for daily living, prosthetics and orthotics. Also, there are large numbers of users of AT who purchase equipment privately or use it to access different levels of education. Many people assist the provision and subsequent use of the AT - eg 2m informal carers and 1,25m carers, providing more than 50 hours of care a week. It is estimated that in the year 2037 there will be around 9m carers who may be assisting AT users (FAST, 2006). FAST identified significant barriers to many users experiencing the full benefit of using AT. To overcome this situation there is a need for professionalising roles that come in contact with AT.
Previous European projects that have highlighted the need for AT training include:
The European programme for training in the field of Assistive Technology Report:
Found that training is currently available at degree level but not at more basic level where demand for training is greatest for those supplying basic AT
The European AT sector is characterised by fragmentation within countries and poor collaboration between them
A provision cycle involves heterogeneous group of disciplines – skills are needed in design, manufacture, user assessment, delivery, maintenance and use (Alan Turner-Smith, 2005)
Open and distance learning
Access for disadvantaged
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities
Human Health and Social Work Activities
Information and Communication
program or curricula
open and distance learning
Product information The project aims to create versions of the original qualification in Germany, Finland and Ireland. These will be piloted and delivered via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to address the needs of relevant target groups. Course handbooks will also be created in the respective languages.