This report describes the work undertaken by the W2ID project partnership over two years of activity from January 2011.
The W2ID project aimed to improve the employability skills, active citizenship and community participation of the European intellectual disability community. The Project co-developed and distributed a fully participatory Web.2.0-based peer-learning system called 'Klikin' that features 'easy-build' website software alongside learning and support resources. This was trialled and evaluated in a Pilot with a range of young learners and adults with intellectual disability in 5 European countries: Portugal, Latvia, Finland, United Kingdom and Austria.
The W2ID project engaged partner organisations from across Europe that included national service provider agencies as well as smaller teaching and training organisations, a research and development centre and a pan European agency for organisations that deliver services for people with disabilities. The diverse expertise of the project partners and the input of people with intellectual disabilities were combined in the project to establish an innovative and inclusive European Web system. By actively involving the intellectual disability community as co-developers and participants, the project created a unique peer-learning network that enabled people to build and share personal experiences, knowledge and information.
The project goal set out to make it easier for people of all abilities to participate in Web 2.0 activity such as generating their own content and using tools like blogs, social networks and wiki websites to enrich their lives. Participants with intellectual disabilities worked with partners to explore how cameras, microphones, computers and online software packages could be made more accessible for as wide a range of people to use as possible. A major review of the preferred activities of web users with intellectual disability was firstly undertaken. Learners with intellectual disability told the project partners what they like to do online; what they would like to do but found difficult; and what tools and websites they found most interesting and useful. This study informed the development of a new 'Klikin' online package and a European Support Hub website with training and support resources with a network of 'easy-build wiki websites', linked to national Web Portals managed for each of the participating countries. Over the second year of the project the Portals, Wiki Websites and the Support Hub have been populated with a mix of web 2.0 tools, advice and multimedia stories, that celebrate the lives of Europeans with intellectual disabilities and inspire the target group to use the Web in creative, safe and social ways.
The W2ID project developed a clear brief from the people with intellectual disabilities who took part. Project partners refined the software packages and learning approaches to create the project‟s uniquely accessible online resource set. Participants were recruited for a pilot delivery of the Klikin system in year two of the Project, with training and support provided for the numerous organisations that took part in this large-scale project trial. Learners and their supporters participated in an in-depth survey of their experience of taking part in the Klkin pilot and their views about Web 2.0 technologies and what they could achieve. This evaluation survey demonstrated considerable personal impact for learners who took part in Klikin and has provided the first piece of authoritative research-based evidence of the potential benefit of the use of these technologies for inclusive lifelong learning. The Project partners also worked together to come up with a model that will enable Klikin to remain an easy to access resource for learners with intellectual disabilities, beyond the life of the project and into the future. Partners have formed an Alliance that will coordinate joint work across European countries to promote and deliver the Klikin package and continue the partnership to keep abreast of technological changes in the world of the Web and the further opportunities that these might bring for people at risk of exclusion in the future.
The project developed a website to introduce the project in easy to understand terms, using multimedia content to help make the information accessible for potential participants with intellectual disabilities (www.w2id.eu ). A „European Support Hub‟ was also created, with resources and inspiring stories about the rich variety of ways in which the Klikin package has been used by learners, to help with the recruitment and dissemination process (http://blog.klikin.eu ). Over 370 people with intellectual disabilities took part in the W2ID project pilot and produced more than 140 'wiki websites' of multimedia content about themselves, their jobs and activities, what they like to do when they go out in their local communities and their interest in ICT, the web and multimedia. Most of these websites have been published on the Project‟s 'Klikin' European Portal where they can be accessed via sections organised according to the different languages used by the partner organisations (www.klikin.eu)
The project partnership embraced a uniquely diverse range of organisations and the innovative teaching and learning methods that have been applied have resulted in the development of a rich and complex Klikin package. Over the project period this has built into an innovative online resource that has been developed in a genuinely inclusive programme of work across the partner countries. The project team are confident that this is an exemplary contribution to the quest for a really inclusive World Wide Web for all the citizens of the European Community.