Irish partners NCBI and IADT have been hosting and facilitating training events across Ireland to introduce DigiPlace4all to students with disabilities, digital skills trainers, support workers, educators and others. NCBI has run training events in its Cork and Galway centres that were attended not only by NCBI staff and service providers but also by trainers and end users from other local organisations such as Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, Employability and the Anne Sullivan Centre. Brian Manning, NCBI’s Technology Trainer in Cork, commented: “it is the dynamic of people with a disability supporting others with a disability that really appeals to me”. Events have also been hosted by other Irish service providers and VETs – Enable Ireland, the Dyslexia Association and the Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board. These have been similarly successful and, for example, Enable Ireland now have plans to introduce all of their interested service users to DigiPlace4all.
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Irish DICE Champion Saleem Ur Rahman hosted a ‘DigiPlace4all Give it a Go’ in The Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB) where he introduced the community website to over 50 students and some staff from ITB. According to Saleem “The day went very well, and the response from the students was excellent”. Saleem has been one of our best Ambassadors in Ireland, helping us to promote DigiPlace4all at conferences and training events by talking about his motivations, experience and what he can offer to others.
We gladly welcome you to DigiPlace4all (http://ie.digiplace4all.eu), where you can request and offer peer support, or share news related to inclusion in education and employment.
Below you can download the transcript of our final event “Enabling Access to Education and Employment – Digital strategies for sustainable community building” which took place on 18 September 2015 in Dublin, Ireland.
Download transcript (pdf)
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Philip Penny from Irish DICE partner IADT attended the annual Telecentar/Unite-IT conference to disseminate information about DigiPlace4all and present it during the Social Innovation Workshop along with other similar projects concerning vulnerable groups in society. DigiPlace4all was submitted and accepted as a relevant and valuable resource by the UNITE-IT committee.
Seminar: Enabling Access to Education and Employment – Digital strategies for sustainable community building
Friday 18 September
Venue: Marker Hotel in Dublin’s Docklands
13:30 Registration, tea/coffee
13:50 Mark Magennis, DICE Project Coordinator – Welcome, introduction to DigiPlace4all, context, aims and functionality
14:10 Shauna Humphries, DigiPlace4all Champion – User motivations, activities and goals
14:20 Marian Harkin, MEP – The European agenda for inclusion and the role of digital communities
14:40 Audience discussion 1 – The value of peer support among students, educators and employers
15.00 DICE Partner Organisations – community activity and experiences in Belgium, Poland and Bulgaria
15:30 John Dolan, CEO Disability Federation of Ireland – National collaboration towards inclusion, role of digital communities and peer support
15:45 Audience discussion 2 – The role of digital and social media
16:00 Esther Murphy, DICE Project Researcher – Where we are now and future sustainability
16:10 Audience discussion 3 – The need for multi-stakeholder collaboration and policies to support sustainability and funding
16:25 Mark Magennis, DICE Project Coordinator – Closing remarks
Marian Harkin MEP
Marian Harkin is an Independent Irish MEP and former TD in Dáil Éireann. As Vice President of the Disability Intergroup Marian is spearheading an initiative to have an EU Commissioner for Disability and has actively worked on the proposed Directive on Accessibility of Public Websites, the European Disability Card and the ratification by Member States of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability.
She is also ALDE Coordinator of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, Chair and founding member of both the Carers Interest Group and the Volunteering Interest Group, Vice Chair of the Mental Health Group and Human Dignity Working Group and a member of the Intergroup on Ageing and Solidarity between Generations and the Social Economy Intergroup.
Marian supports independent living for persons with disabilities and adequate services for children with special needs, visiting schools on a regular basis to debate and explain her work and linking in with community endeavours.
In 2011 in the MEP of the Year Awards Marian won the “Outstanding Achievement Award’ in recognition of her work in promoting the interests of volunteers and volunteering in the European Union. In 2012, she won the MEP of the Year award for her work in the area of Employment & Social Affairs.
John Dolan, CEO Disability Federation of Ireland
John Dolan has been Chief Executive of the Disability Federation of Ireland since 2000. Prior to that he worked for 20 years with the Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA), and during that time gained a comprehensive understanding of issues across the movement. DFI with over 126 voluntary disability organisation affiliates serves the interests of people with disabilities and their families in Ireland. John has been active in the development of the National Disability Strategy but equally in developing governance, management capacity and collaborative working to increase organisational capacity across the voluntary disability movement. He has been at the forefront of many innovative developments seeking equality for people with disabilities in Irish society.
John is a member of the following Boards: Higher Education Authority, Physiotherapists Registration Board, European Association of Service Providers for People with Disabilities and the Social Platform, (representative organisation of European civil society umbrella organisations). He is a member of the Membership and Credentials Committee of the European Disability Forum.
About the Seminar
The seminar will showcase DigiPlace4all (www.digiplace4all.eu), an online peer support community for people with disabilities developing digital skills for accessing education and employment, developed by the DICE project in Ireland, Belgium, Poland and Bulgaria. We will demonstrate how EU funding can help NGOs collaborate within Ireland and across Europe on dynamic initiatives like this.
Through presentations and group dialogue, attendees will explore and discuss issues around access to further education and employment, the role of peer support, the use of online communities, sustainability, stakeholder collaboration, public policy and funding.
Who will attend?
The event will be attended by disability advocates, educators, employers, public policy advisers and DigiPlace4all community members.
DigiPlace4all peer support communities are now active in four countries – Ireland, Belgium, Bulgaria and Poland – and extension to other European member states is planned. They provide a way for people with disabilities to request and offer support from their peers in developing the digital skills needed to transition from VET training to mainstream education and employment. They also provide functionality for sharing information on technology and accessibility and are open to educators and employers who wish to make their learning environments and workplaces inclusive.
The development of this new online community is a real success story that shows the power of collaboration, not only across Europe but also within our own country. NCBI has been able to pull together a network of supporters and “DigiPlace4all Champions” among key Irish disability organisations such as Enable Ireland, AHEAD, the Disability Federation of Ireland, Dyslexia Association, DeafHear and many more. The collaboration with these Champions is helping us to grow the community into the future.
Please register for the event. Click here to register or do so below.
Looking forward to seeing you there.
Following DigiPlace4all Events have been scheduled for July – September 2015:
- 30th July: 10.30-1- NCBI Cork
- 30th July: Dyslexia Association Kildare
- 12th August: Claregalway College
- 10-15 August: Enable Ireland/NLN (Date TBC, venue EI Sandymount
- August: Next steps Irish Guide Dogs “Give it a go” session TBC
- Led by DigiPlace4all Champion Shauna Humphries
- 14th September: Dyslexia Association, Tech at Higher Ed event. DigiPlace4all presentation & “Give it a Go” session.
- 18th September: NCBI and EU partners, Policy event Dublin
- September (Date TBC) SW collaboration Digital Inclusion in Higher Education event UL, UCC and CIT. Venue UCC
- 28th September Institute of Art and Design DunLaoghaire (IADT) & ETB Mid Sept
DICE partners will have their final project meeting and event on 17-18 September 2015 in DUblin, Ireland.
More details on the event to follow soon.
On 29-30 June 2015, the DICE partners met in Dublin, Ireland to discuss the progress of the DigiPlace4all platform and the associated community building.
The Irish News Tech published an article about our launch event on May 28th 2015.