Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

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Fostering Digital Participation for People with Intellectual Disabilities and Their Caregivers: Towards a Guideline for Designing Education Programs

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Abstract:  In Germany, libraries or public training centers offer education programs for different target groups to foster digital participation. Yet, those programs often do not meet the requirements of people with intellectual disabilities, their formal caregivers or social institutions. A high degree of personal and organizational effort, lack of caregivers’ knowledge and expenditure of time materialize as barriers for caregivers in social institutions to support their clients to achieve digital literacy. However, the desires of people with intellectual disabilities to improve their digital skills have risen steadily in the last years. This article addresses the question of how education programs should be designed to meet the needs of people with intellectual disabilities, their formal caregivers, and social institutions. Therefore, requirements were derived from a secondary analysis of 24 semi-structured interviews with formal caregivers in social organizations, focus groups containing 50 people with intellectual disabilities, and an additional interview study with five experts form research and practice. As a result, a guideline with ten main points for designing education programs for people with disabilities, caregivers and social institutions is presented in this article.

Keywords:  formal caregivers; education programs; inclusive education; digital literacy; intellectual disability



© Vanessa N. Heitplatz. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.