Needs Assessment and Survey of Accessibility Centre Best Practices


1.1 Needs assessment of Accessibility Centres in PC

The Needs assessment of Accessibility Centres report groups and evaluates the outcomes of the research conducted in each Partner Country and defines the needs of the students and the Universities, regarding accessibility issues. The report provides detailed results and analysis on a national basis, taking under consideration also local regulations.


1.2 Best Practices of Assistive Technology (EU)

The survey of existing Accessibility Centres in Partner Countries lays out the research model, strategy, tools and quality standards which occur in the Partner Countries’ Accessibility Centres. Emphasis is put on a regional approach. An e-questionnaire for disabled University students and the Accessibility Centres’ staff is posed so as to observe the gap in provision. Consequently, the reform direction of these elements is examined in each Partner Country.


1.3 Gap analysis and planning

The Gap Analysis survey will evaluate the outcomes of the research conducted in each Partner Country, define the problems and issues raised, provide indicators for quality assessment and compare the data and indicators among the Partner Countries. Furthermore, the results obtained from the Needs Assessment Report regarding Accessibility Centres of Partner Countries will be compared with the practices used in EU countries so as to reach accurate Gap Analysis results.


1.4 Workshops about Best Practices

Two workshops were organized, one in each Partner Country, hosted by Alexandria University and Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport in Egypt and Ibn Tofail University and Abdelmalek Essaadi University in Morocco. The main objective of the workshops was to transfer know-how as well as best practices from EU countries to Partner countries. Specifically, the aim of these workshops was the sufficient provision of knowledge and practices, which Accessibility Centres from EU Member States possess.



Design and development of a model for Accessibility Centres in Partner Countries


2.1. Accessibility Centre model A model for Accessibility Centres in Universities and Vocational Training Institutes was designed and developed. It’s role is the provision of services such as guidance, training and access to specialized assistive technologies that help students with reading, writing, studying, and acquiring information about the learning process. These centres will offer students access to and training about assistive computer technology, and other tools as well as advising.2.2. Design of an e-learning environment Four Elements with help from other partners designed the e-learning environment having in mind the e-learning training needs of disabled University students. Moreover, the partners designed online training tools based on Web 2.0 technologies, document sharing and uploading tools. All materials produced in this activity were simultaneously developed in a digital form.2.3. Employment modules for vulnerable groups Partners used their experience to develop the content of 10 modules to be delivered to students with special needs based on the Needs Assessment Report (deliverable 1.1). The design and development of the learning modules will be based on best practices used in the EU on accessibility and assistive IT. A vocational and careers element was included in the modules.2.4. Advisors’ training handbook A digital handbook was developed to guide Career Services staff in successfully implementing training for disabled University students. The handbook consists of practical guidelines referring to the duration of the training, the number of participants able to attend each session escorted by in-class and on-line activities and provisions for deploying pioneering pedagogical methods in training, such as study cases and scenario building.




Training for Partner Country University academic, support and technical staff on Accessibility Centres in EU Universities


3.1. Organization of seminar program

The seminars were held in the EU University and Vocational Training facilities. The lectures were carried out using visual material and there will be an interactive relationship between the trainers and the trainees. The training included interactive software models of equipment, not available in the Partner Country Accessibility Centres.


3.2. Development of training material

Printed and digital training material was prepared in order to support the training procedure.


3.3. Preparatory actions for training seminars

Each of the EU partners, according to their expertise, organized a seminar for 16 members of staff of the four (4) Partner Country Institutions. Those staff attending the seminars became transmitters of the Accessibility Centre practices in their own countries.


3.4. Transferring and translating teaching material

The EU Academic and Vocational Training Staff along with the independent experts who conducted the lectures and practical training have to be familiar with the total content of the training material. Therefore, there was a period of internal training within the EU University for the academic, administrative and technical staff so that the team presents a cohesive integrated programme.


3.5. Selecting suitable Partner Country academic staff

The selection of the Partner Country Staff was according to certain criteria. The staff, after its training, has to be ready to reproduce the knowledge they gained to others.


3.6. Training of Partner Countries’ academic staff

Four (4) seminars were organized, one by each EU partner, with the participation of academic, support and technical staff from all Partner Countries (EG and MA). The aim was to gain wide knowledge of each topic and to be able to support the seminars that will be carried out in their countries.



Instantiation (establishment, modernization and reform) and trial testing of Accessibility Centres in Partner Countries


4.1. Integration of an "assistive IT" system

An “assistive IT” system, supports the Disabled Student’s access to Partner Univerities’ training and facilities.


4.2. Training of career advisors and university staff

Partners conducted effective and optimal training of the academic, career advisors and other University staff to develop skills for helping and assisting disabled students. The career advisors/staff in the Partner Countries’ Universities were internally taught how to use the accessible technology tools.


4.3. Seminars for Accessibility Centre staff

Training was implemented in each country’s Accessibility Centre. Each Partner Country University implemented 20-day seminars for their disabled University students. Students were trained with the use of the e-learning material developed in the project (Deliverable 3.2). Additionally, workshops were conducted in order to promote the “knowledge” triangle of education, research and innovation. All participants received a certificate after attending the educational seminars.


4.4. Report on User Trials & Evaluation Findings

The reformation process was followed by a testing period of the Accessibility Centres implementation as a whole. This was an ongoing evaluation period during which assessment, feedback and reformation of the Accessibility Centres took place. This co-creation and iteration of design ensures that the Accessibility Centres in Partner Countries becomes more efficient, thereby directly benefitting disabled University students.



Dissemination of project results


5.1. Dissemination portfolioIn line with the milestones and delivery channels identified in the SWING dissemination plan, each partner will be responsible for managing their own dissemination portfolio that will be a collection of material produced for each dissemination event.5.2. Dissemination actionsThe SWING team organized one national conference in each participating country along with one workshop within an International Conference in Egypt and one workshop with an International Conference in Morocco during which the upto-date results of the project will be disseminated. Totally 15 articles will be published in several types of publications, press and media, printed or digital. Dissemination will be enhanced through the presence of social networking tools.<>



Exploitation of project results


6.1. Exploitation and sustainability plan

The exploitation and sustainability plan includes input from all stakeholders and particularly students with disabilities and employers. Specifically, the exploitation and sustainability report refers to the actions and activities that take place and the assignment of roles regarding the exploitation of the project's results, the publicity and the sustainability of the project's outcomes.



Project Quality Assurance plan


7.1. Project Quality Assurance Plan

The project quality assurance plan provides the guidelines for the project’s quality evaluation, ensuring high quality in all project aspects.


7.2. 1st Annual Internal Evaluation Report

Every 12 months an internal evaluation of the project progress took place. The results of this evaluation are communicated through the internal evaluation reports, which help to keep track of any discrepancies and resolve them.


7.3. 2st Annual Internal Evaluation Report

The final report and ensures that all stakeholders are involved in evaluating all the criteria in the quality assurance plan. The results of this evaluation are communicated through the internal evaluation reports, which will help keep track of any discrepancies and resolve them. The report also feeds into the final project report.



Project Management


8.1. Project management plan

The Project Management plan underpins all project activities. Using Gantt charts, activity, milestone and deliverable charts the plan maps out the direction of the project and partner responsibilities. The plan is monitored regularly, milestones and deliverables are reviewed at every project meeting. Partners review and agree all elements of the project plan


8.2. 1st Annual Official Progress Report

The progress reports and their content are the major indicator on the project’s progress and quality. Two progress reports are produced, one every year. The reports refer to the project implementation, deliverables, impact, expected tasks and resource allocation. The progress reports are used for the evaluation not only of the project’s implementation but also for the quality and the dissemination of the results.


8.3. 2nd Annual Official Progress Report

The progress reports and their content are the major indicator on the project’s progress and quality. Two progress reports are produced, one every year. The reports refer to the project implementation, deliverables, impact, expected tasks and resource allocation. The progress reports are used for the evaluation not only of the project’s implementation but also for the quality and the dissemination of the results.


8.4. Final Report

The final report is developed by the completion of the project and it will refer to the implementation of the plan as a whole. It includes an overview of the project's progress and detailed analysis of the tasks and deliverables. It describes the steps taken and the activities occurred that led to the successful implementation of the project.