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Self Direction Community Project
Disability Awareness Training Website - Project Evaluation Report

Published 28th August 2001


Project Aims

This report is based on the research undertaken between 1 July 2000 and 30 June 2001 examining the various factors concerning accessible online e-learning. The research looked primarily at

· accessibility on the Internet, including the accessibility of design and web page authoring;

· content of training modules, i.e. appropriate levels of learning and accepted practices used when communicating with those who are disadvantaged;

· accessibility of equipment and services available for Internet use;

· examination of existing e-commerce solutions and services;

· the potential market and need within the Public, Private and Voluntary Sectors for future online Disability Awareness Training.

Project Description

The Project was created to research the potential future market for the provision of online Disability Awareness Training. In addition, we were to identify a clear strategy in accessing future funding strands that could be used to take the findings further by developing accessible training modules that could be used in conjunction with an e-commerce solution for the future sustainability of the organisation.

The pilot research project was carried out with a focus on the method of implementation of a future website, which would provide a high level of user-scaleable textual content interspersed with pictures, animation, video and sound. This will be a complete interactive training package that will be informative, educational and stimulating to ensure that the training remains enjoyable for the trainee.

This project carried out a significant amount of research, consultation and collaboration with employers, goods and service providers, individuals, and agents of change to ensure that the results and conclusions were as representative as realistically possible of the future users of the proposed training.

e-Learning is an ideal way for employers wishing to provide cost effective training, and minimises the reduction in employee productivity levels through attending traditional training sessions at external venues for extended periods of time. The online Disability Awareness Training modules could also be used by other groups such as :

· college students;

· volunteers;

· people who have recently been made redundant;

· those looking to up-skill or retrain, either because they are in low paid part-time employment, facing future redundancy or because they are unemployed and need to improve their chances of employment by adding dimensions to their curriculum vitas.

Part of the research was the formation of a pilot website for use as an information exchange seminar area between the eventual site users. Self-Direction Community Project is attended by people with a diverse range of disabilities and disadvantages who were the evaluators for this research project. The evaluators and the other disabled people who were training to become trainers provided participatory one day training sessions in a traditional format in order to gain valuable feedback from employers, organisations and businesses who would become future site users of the intended Disability Awareness Training courses. This feedback was then incorporated into the overall website design, or added to the research information bank.

It was crucial to the success of the Project to incorporate the Project's service users as evaluators who would assist through participating with the research and commenting on the level of ease or difficulty that they experienced in accessing the various pages of the sample training module. Prior to the website going live in February 2001, the in-house cluster group of evaluators also examined the political and human rights aspect of the content, in the context of the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act, as well as examining the learning level at which the module should be aimed. Further work carried out by the evaluators was identification, assessment and format of future content for additional training modules which could be transposed from one day offline workshops to online presentations.


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