eLearning Environment for Disabled Learners (EFESTO)

Published on: 25/02/2011
Document

Disabled citizens don't have the possibility to acquire and empower more specific skills and competencies related to electronic, informatics and digital solutions. eFESTO is a distance learning environment supporting people with hearing disabilities acquire specific skills in English language and in the use of electronics instrumentation, in order to facilitate their integration in the labour market. The main objective is to help disabled citizens to have more labour market possibilities related to the use of advanced technological solutions.

Policy Context

The system of supported employment within the free market in Poland has not been developed so far and that for many years there were no professional job coaches, supporting people with disabilities at the workplace.

People with disability from birth typically finish education without competencies for work. They do not have access to life-long learning and after graduating from school they are left to themselves.

In Poland there is a low rate of disabled people with higher education level and the mainstream courses and training offered often do not meet individual needs and do not create opportunities for practical training in the work place, which, in case of people with disabilities is of the outmost importance.

The eFESTO general objective is to deliver learning services for deaf citizens in order for themto acquire modern competences as required by the actual labour market, including the managing of modern and last generation electrical instrumentation.

The eFESTO learning environment will be the result of the transfer, adaptation and also integration of two projects based on distance learning technologies and methodologies.

The results will be an innovative learning environment for deaf learners for acquiring more skills about managing and using electrical and electronic apparatus in different application fields, such as biomedicine, telecommunications, industry and sustainable environment. This aspect will give disabled learners the possibility to acquire new competencies and, thus, to have increased chances to be employed in the modern eSociety. The system will also deliver specific courses of English language for deaf learners, a very important competence in the labor market.

The project will be oriented in particular to satisfy the specific context and needs of Poland. In fact some analysis, specific to in Poland, highlighted that the highest number of people with disabilities is employed in agriculture, hunting and forestry as well as in manufacturing (respectively 30% and 19% of all employed people with disabilities). The main reasons that justify this situation are the low levels of education and inadequate vocational qualifications.

In other words disabled citizens have not the possibility to acquire and empower more specific skills and competencies related to electronics, informatics and digital solutions. For these reasons disabled citizens are excluded from a high number of labour market possibilities related to the use of advanced technological solutions.

Technology solution

The eFESTO project exploits all the potential of remote lab activities for scientific disciplines and in particular the use of the Internet as a channel to reach deaf students or workers at any work station. The eFESTO project is based on a distributed software architecture that consists of:

  • The LMS server, is executed on a central server and it is linked to each laboratory and to the users through a Web Server hosted on the same machine;
  • The LS server (Laboratory Server) is used for the interface of each laboratory with the overall distributed architecture. There is an LS server for each enterprise or didactic laboratory involved in the project;
  • The MS server, Measurement Server, is the server located in the laboratory that enables the interaction with one or more instruments or sensors or electronic apparatus depending on the specific experiment.

 

Main results, benefits and impacts

The results of the eFESTO project will be an innovative learning environment for deaf learners for acquiring more skills about managing and using electrical and electronic apparatus in different application fields, such as biomedicine, telecommunications, industry and sustainable environment. This aspect will give to disabled learners the possibility to acquire new competencies and, thus, to have increased chances to be employed in the modern eSociety. The system will also deliver specific courses of English language for deaf learners, a very important competence in the labour market.

The impact foreseen is:

  • didactic, because deaf learners can easily learn the English language but also learn to manage electrical and electronic apparatus in different application fields to empower modern professional skills;
  • economic, reduces the costs related to special needs pedagogy;
  • social, because eFESTO supports communication and social integration.

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Lessons learnt

eFESTO applies the general criteria of "socio-cultural constructivism" and of "collaborative learning" delivering both individual and collective learning activities. eFESTO in fact empowers these aspects through the use of distance learning synchronous and asynchronous communication services. eFesto environment empowers the psyco-pedagogical aspect of the learning process. The interaction between man and computer evolves in social technical interaction: the individual learns alone in connection with the others, thanks to specific technical solutions. eFesto facilitates the so-called "virtual communities", one of the more interesting new modalities of human sociability that are delivered by joint computer science and telecommunication technologies and that are based on special pedagogy.

 

Scope: National, Pan-European