Hersh MA & Mouroutsou S (2015) Learning Technology and Disability: Overcoming Barriers to Inclusion - Evidence from a Multi-Country Study [Invited paper]. In: Groumpos P, Kopacek P, Topalov A & Boshnakov K (eds.) 16th IFAC Conference on Technology, Culture and International Stability (TECIS 2015). IFAC-PapersOnline, Volume 48, Issue 24. 16th IFAC Conference On Technology, Culture and International Stability (TECIS 2015), Sozopol, Bulgaria, 24.09.2015-27.09.2015. New York: Elsevier, pp. 83-88. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ifacol.2015.12.061
Abstract The paper uses data from a 15 country study to discuss the factors which affect the use of ICT learning technologies by disabled people and consequently their access to education. Significant differences were found both between and within countries with income and language the main factors affecting availability. Thus the greatest availability was in the higher income English speaking countries or countries with one of the dominant languages. The barriers to technology use included cost, lack of funding and lack of information. A particular disparity in technology access was found between the English speaking European population and Aboriginal speakers of indigenous languages in Australia. Measures proposed to increase access to learning technologies and make it more equitable included simplified funding mechanisms, with a fund set up to support the lower income countries, encouragement for the production of minority language and free of charge assistive and other learning technologies and improved provision and technical support in all learning institutions.
Keywords learning technologies; assistive technologies; inclusion; barriers; funding; language; information