The Digital Center for IT Research and Uses by/on Adults and Disables
In Murcia, Spain a fantastic project has been started. Its goal is to further the uses of Information Technology (IT) for older citizens and people with disabilities.
Below is a small amount of information extracted from the web site. You can read more about what is one of the most important assistive technology projects in the world today at: http://www.um.es/undis/nuevolibro/indexing.htm
3. The Ciud@d.es….. an out-look!
CENTRE for applied Research and Uses of NT. on Adults and Disable persons. Ciudad.es (Centro de Investigacion y Usos de Adultos y Discapacitados) located in the Murcian Region, and more precisely at the ‘Costa Cálida’.
- A virtual building, to be created at the site Ciud@d.es keeping in mind the constant inter-action that both buildings must share, from the very moment of their launching.
- A physical building, to be created, distributed and adapted, in a quiet and easy accessible environment, for the purposes of Ciudad.es
The population pyramid is experiencing a serious and inexorable tendency to duplicate or triplicate the percentage of adults and seniors in Developed societies as well as in Developing countries 1 This is an issue that needs immediate attention & action.
The situation of research concerning the applications of IT. in this specific sector, which is a key sector in terms of relying populations over 55’ years of age, in certain cases, even 45 years old, is too weak in our country and lacks necessary practices.
At the same time, NT. are breaking through unthinkable barriers within the field of research 2 with inmmense possibilities not only in adult education but also in its inter-action with ‘on-line’ sites activities which do not require physical efforts, thus making "accessible" 3 to everybody 4 the Net.
But there is more. The same barriers between adult/seniors and disables, sometimes could inter-act, and sometimes even they could overlapped.
Therefore, the Centre for Research and Uses of IT. on Adults and Disable persons, the Ciud@d.es should offer a wide variety of sectors due to & for inter-action, which at the same time are the very essence and Philosophy of the Internet.
Given the actual populations forecast for the coming years, as well as its ageing percentage during the present decade, one of the sectors with a real need of adaptation, education and promotion/integration is the one of the adult/senior. They could also benefit from the simple uses of IT. in their communication by using the future "Multy-Uses-Digital-Cabins", (MUDC) to be established in every village, of the Region of Murcia, as one of the first and priority research targets at the Centre of Ciud@ad.es and as a confortable meeting site, for the interested adult population.
The project has a "core group" which will be formed by UNDIS Programme of the University School for Social Work of the University of Murcia, which has already gathered a great amount of experience within disability issues 5
The project Centre Ciud@d.es should become a meeting point for all applied research activities on the uses of NT. and particularly within the of Special Interest Groups (SIG) of the WWW and its applications, as well as in the uses of communications via e-mail.
The Centre must become, quickly, a placed equipped with the best Band-with supported by a state-of-the-art hardware with installations designed to allow multi-Video-Conferences and Communications P2P (Peer-to-Peer) and also to the new operative system CIRX.
The platforms for direct application and uses of Ciud@d.es will be:
The UNDIS, dedicated to Physically Disables.
COMMON TAGETS for both platforms of Research and Uses:
Education: wide choice of e-ducative telematic training & teaching related to the use of technologies applied to work, studies, leisure purposes as well as courses on any subject, which can be held on-site or at the mobile "Multi-Uses-Digital-Cabins" (MUDC’s) increasing the participation of existing educative offer.
- Co-ordination of educative initiatives on the uses of IT. at the University of Murcia and within the educational system in the Region of Murcia, as well.
- Promotion of research on accessibility: using all possible resources related to physical and electronic information, for work, leisure and communications.
- Develop and maintain a Data Base, with XML and XSL languages, on studies, research activities and projects aimed at improving the quality of life and the e-ducational, labour and social integration.
- Collect and publish existing support offers and initiatives, aimed at assisting in financing e-ducation, research activities and the supply of services.
- Facilitate ways to interested persons as means for study or applied research to the improvement of services and the quality of life.
Offer Consulting and practical information in terms of technical and social assistance, legislation, experience on on-going process, labour and leisure as well as participation in different Associations.
In order to achieve these goals Ciud@d.es will be divided into the following Sec-tors
Sec-tor for e-ducation and re-search, which implies that the’applied’ research should be located in the physical Building.
Sec-tor for In-formation and Communication, which implies mainly jservices ‘on-line’, to be located in the virtual Building of Ciud@d.es
Sec-tor for Services, which implies support activities, to be offered by Ciud@ad.es when teaching ‘on-line’ on the uses of IT. 8 and specially with planning, reviewing and projecting new mobiles MUDC’s.
José Luis Pardos, PhD
Ambassador of Spain to Denmark.
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