To describe the DART (Disseminating Assistive Roles and Technology) Project, including presentation and reflection on the the findings of the project's research report on Assistive Technology provision in Further Education (NATSPEC, 2013).
This project seeks to: improve Assistive Technology practice in the FE and Skills sector; enable the replication of the innovative Assistive Technologist role; produce Assistive Technology case studies for the sector; and conduct original research in order to understand the changing nature of how Assistive Technology is used in the College sector.
This is achieved through a combination of providing 'deep support' to colleges who are part of the project, an open access workshop series, and a website containing relevant case studies and resources.
New Assistive Technologist roles have been created in several of the recipient colleges which has led to an enhanced AT service for students. Staff in the sector have been upskilled, and the results of the research have led to the commissioning of a larger scale study this year.
The project has identified a clear need to develop AT and AAC practice in the FE sector (applications outnumbered available places by three to one), which has led to further funding for the current project.