What I understood from my research is that “Technology is something that allow to get into the building and access the room. Participation is being invited to the table in the room. Emancipation is being able to express needs at the table, and an inclusive society is when your voice is heard”.
About Dr. Traina’s research:
I was a Marie Curie post-doc research fellow of ASSISTID Programme at the National University of Ireland Galway and I had collaborated with Ability West St. Joseph Training centre. I had the opportunity to use avail®during my research project focused on the empowerment of youths with intellectual Disability (ID) for acquiring employment skills through transition program and use of assistive technologies. In my experience, avail® was part of the educational curriculum I have developed that was aimed to prepare participants for individualized work placements. It was an outstanding platform that effectively facilitated teaching and learning of such skills through audio and video modelling and other prompting. Basically, the prompts used were composed by instructions and demonstrations of job-related tasks to increase the likelihood that individuals will make the right response. For example, the video modelling was used to show the participants how to clean tables, to use a dishwasher, to introduce oneself and other tasks addressed to employment skills acquisition. avail® helped the participants to understand the different steps required to successfully perform each task and it was extremely easy to use for designing, monitoring and evaluating the learning of tasks.
In terms of accessibility and usability, youths with ID that used avail® found it user- friendly, funny and useful as it helped them to learn and practice different tasks.
I strongly recommend avail® for any educational pathways aimed to transfer competences, especially social, independent and employment skills to youths and adults with ID in different learning environments such as schools, training centres, service providers and volunteering organizations of persons with disabilities.