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Course graduates can expect to be able to contribute to the challenges of delivering realistic solutions which meet the needs of older and disabled people and others who are at risk of digital exclusion. The course is relevant for academics and industrialists from Europe and worldwide.

Teaching and learning
The course is taught part time in a modular format over two years. For each module you must attend the intensive on campus teaching week followed by 10 or 11 weeks of eLearning.

Modules
– Fundamentals of Digital Inclusion
– Design for All regulation, legislation & standards
– Inclusive design & user experience
– Accessible web design
– Digital Inclusion thesis

Students successfully completing all 5 modules will be awarded MSc Digital Inclusion, students successfully completing the first four modules only (excluding the thesis) will be awarded PGDip

Starting September 2009 – 2010
– Module One – Fundamentals of Digital Inclusion
On Campus Teaching – Monday 28th Sept to Friday 2nd October 2009
– Module Two – Design for All, regulation, legislation and standardisation
On Campus Teaching – Monday 11th January to Friday 15th January 2010

Admission requirements
Either: a good honours degree in a relevant discipline including: computing, information sciences, web design, product design as well humanities, or you can show relevant work experience having worked in the area for three years or more.

For more information:
Please contact the programme leader (Gill Whitney): g.whitney@mdx.ac.uk or telephone 07905 622471
See www.mdx.ac.uk/digitalinclusion for further details, fees, application forms, etc.

The aim of this project has been to provide access to professional training, and improve disabled peoples’ opportunities for professional employment. It was aimed to be reached by developing a preparation for social work course delivered through a blended training and mentoring support programme, and to test this across three European countries with the intention of identifying cross-national applications for such a programme. It has developed a model of mentoring that involves recruiting disabled people as mentors.

The project has built networks in the sector in each partner country which bring together providers of training, users of training (both employers and potential employees), sector advisory and accreditation bodies, through which the programme can be more widely applied. Furthermore, partnership arrangements were developed with institutions in other European countries to further develop the trans-national element of the project.

The project final results are a curriculum designed to be an ‘inclusive’ preparation for professional social work training. The curriculum is a modular, using a blended learning approach, and designed to be studied prior to any social work/social care training. It can therefore be incorporated into the Widening Participation and recruitment strategy of training providers without making any significant changes to their usual mode of operation. Furthermore, it could be used by associate, or feeder, colleges of social work training providers in support of mainstream teaching, such as the network of colleges working with De Montfort University.

More information can be found on project website

Validating Mentoring 2 project will support the needs of disabled people and others disadvantaged in the job market by developing systems for the recognition of their non-formal and informal learning. This is particularly important for a group that, compared to its peers, lacks formal qualifications with the consequent effects upon their employability. It will do this by establishing new mentoring programmes in 3 countries for disabled people, older people and young people at risk and it will transfer to them the principles and practices of effective, high quality, mentoring and validation, based on the Code of Practice for Mentoring developed the first Validation of Mentoring project BG/05/C/F/TH- 83 300 (www.mentoring-validation.org). In support for the transfer, it will develop and evaluate comprehensive systems for the self-assessment of mentoring programmes. The principles and practices developed will be potentially transferable to other areas of informal and non-formal learning.

This project focuses on the needs of disabled and other disadvantaged people – who gain particular benefits from the non-formal nature of mentoring. It is particularly useful for people who lack work-experience and who have not had the opportunity to develop their full skills and competences, as is often the case with disabled and other disadvantaged people.

The development of a validation system for mentoring will be a major advance and is based on the project team’s extensive experience in this field, which enables it to draw upon best practice from across Europe in all aspects of its work. Without authoritative validation those who participate in mentoring (both mentors and mentees) are denied legitimate acknowledgment of their achievements, and employers cannot properly judge the qualities of staff and potential recruits.

The project is a direct expression of the principles of the Copenhagen Agreement and complements the range of community initiatives that seek to ensure that the benefits of informal and non-formal learning are fully realised as a part of VET.
More information can be found at the project website.

SEN logoThe Social Employers Network (SEN) is a network set up to encourage, consult and support employers in recruitment and retainment of any kind of disadvantaged or disabled workers. SEN is EU wide network with founding members organizations from Bulgaria, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and UK which has been together since September 2007. Membership is open to all kinds of employers who share positive attitude towards people with disabilities and disadvantaged.