The Lifelong Learning paradigm recognises that, in a knowledge based economy, education and work are integrated throughout people’s lives.
All citizens need ongoing access to learning to enable them to work. Technology is playing an increasing role in mediating this learning. However, if this technology is inappropriate and introduced with insufficient support, disabled people will face even further exclusion from the interlinked worlds of education and work.
To address this, EU4ALL (a four year project which started in october 2006) sets forward the concept of Accessible Lifelong Learning (ALL) uniting 3 key strategies:
1. That the technology that mediates lifelong learning does so accommodating the diversity of ways people interact with technology and the content and services it delivers
2. That this technology is used to bring support services to disabled learners
3. Providing support services and technical infrastructure that enable teaching, technical and administrative staff of educational institutions to offer their teaching and services in a way that is accessible to disabled learners
The aim of EU4ALL is to improve the efficiency and efficacy of implementing these strategies by developing an open service architecture for ALL. To achieve a wide impact the approach taken is not to develop a single EU4ALL system but a standards based framework that facilitates the integration of the approach with a wide range of eLearning systems.
More specifically the goals of EU4ALL are to:
* Design an open service-oriented architecture for ALL
* Develop the software infrastructure for ALL services (including content, support and access services)
* Provide technical standards/specifications for ALL applications integrated with current and emerging eLearning standards
* Validate the results in large-scale higher education settings
Two broad user groups benefit from the EU4ALL project:
1. End-users: Adult learners with disabilities, teachers, and tutors
2. System-users: Providers of eLearning systems, content and services
More information can be found on the project website.