On Tuesday 14 February a conference was organised by Inclusion Europe.

The conference was on the “Able to Include” project.

The motto of the event was “Making digital inclusion possible’’.

Digital inclusion means to create easy-to-use tools and programmes
so everyone can use them on computers and phones.

A person using Kolumba programme
A person using the Kolumba programme

Many different organisations came to the event.

The director of Inclusion Europe Milan Šveřepa spoke about
how people need to be able to have access to information
to make decisions.

One person who also spoke at the event was Ineke Schuurman
from the Leuven University in Belgium.
She was involved in the “Able to Include” project.

Here is what she said:

“The project wanted to make the lives of people
with intellectual disabilities better.”

Ineke Schuurman told us about a few services
that have been created during the project:

  • Text to pictogram translator
    This programme transforms text to images for better understanding.
  • Text simplifier
    This programme changes texts to make them easier to read.
  • Text to speech programme
    This programme will read text for you.
    You can also speak to the tool and it will write the sentence.

You can read more on www.able-to-include.com

She also mentioned two other applications: PictoChat and Kolumba.

PictoChat” is an app which allows people with intellectual disabilities
to be able to talk to their support persons using images.

Jo Daems from Thomas More University College
said that the programme has improved
the ways in which people with intellectual disabilities can talk to others.

 PictoChat Programme
The PictoChat Programme

Kolumba” is an easy-to-use email system that people
with intellectual disabilities can use.

Marta Ripollés from the Prodis project showed a video.
In this video a person with an intellectual disability
shows how the Kolumba system works.
This programme makes it easier to read and use emails.

You can use the programme at: http://kolumba.taln.upf.edu/?lang=en

Other people that worked on the project talked
about the importance of accessibility to social media.

One was Alejandro Moledo from the European Disability Forum.
He said that it is a big problem for people with disabilities
if the internet and applications are not accessible.

We also heard from Liz Tilly and self-advocate Satnam Singh.
Both are from an association called Building Bridges Training.

They talked about how apps give confidence to people
with intellectual disabilities.

The event showed that it is important that people with intellectual disabilities
can use new technologies.
It is important because it helps people with intellectual disabilities
to be more free and independent.

“Able to Include” final event

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