The objective of this project is to enable autistic people with different support needs to access digital technologies, tackling an already existing digital divide which has been aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic and its lockdowns.
The pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns have highlighted the difficulties to access digital technologies for autistic people, especially for those with intellectual disabilities. While some users have been able to benefit from training, online learning, care, support and online assistance, those without access to digital technologies have been further isolated and disconnected from their educational and care centres as well as from their service providers. As a result, the education and training of autistic people have been negatively impacted, resulting in a lower quality of life and personal development for autistic people and their families, who have been left unsupported during this period.
The inaccessibility of certain digital technologies for some is based on the fact that the tools themselves are not very accessible, a lack of training (for teachers, people with disabilities and their families), poorly tailored methodologies as well as a lack of technological resources. More specifically, digital tools are designed for the general population, without taking into account the accessibility needs of autistic people. Digital tools need to be adapted from the cognitive perspective, incorporating Easy-to-read materials, pictograms and graphic resources.