In “normal” circumstances, the opportunities that people with functional diversity have available to take an active part in society are already limited, and the pandemic’s effect has only increased the obstacles for their community participation. The COVID report 2020, by Inclusion Europe, reflects that a lot of people with disabilities were isolated from their families and friends for months during the lockdowns, and as day care centers and support services were closed, their opportunities to socialize and participate decreased significantly.
In short, we find that disabled people are isolated from their communities and lack opportunities to play an active role in them, either because of the physical barriers caused by disabilities, living in remote places or because of the situation derived from the COVID pandemic. When facing this problem, the use of technologies could be a very useful tool to overcome the physical barriers and ensure their full participation in society on an equal basis with others. Digital participation has highlighted their potential to remove barriers and enable more equal participation for everyone.
ACTIVATE aims to achieve as main objectives:
- To train adults with disabilities to enhance their digital skills and competences, so they can promote and participate in community action initiatives and be included in digital society;
- To provide professionals working with them with resources and tools so that they can raise their awareness, train them, and support them in their community participation actions seizing the potential of digital tools;
- To enhance the digital skills and competences of adults with disabilities to overcome the physical barriers for community participation;
- To promote the active participation of adults with disabilities in their community and ensure their full participation in society on an equal basis with others;
- To maintain independence and improve the quality of life of people with disabilities.
The ACTIVATE project targets primarily and directly adults with disabilities, by training them to enhance their digital skills and competences, so they can promote and participate in community action initiatives, as well as have fulfilled social relations and fight isolation and the negative effects it has on physical and mental health.
Secondary target groups are professionals from different specialities working with adults with disabilities. It is expected that this project will provide them with resources and tools so that they can raise their awareness, train them, and support them in their community participation actions.