AEMA National Networking Meeting: "Inclusion and Accessibility in Adult Education"

AEMA National Networking Meeting: "Inclusion and Accessibility in Adult Education"

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AEMA National Networking Meeting: "Inclusion and Accessibility in Adult Education"
AEMA National Networking Meeting: "Inclusion and Accessibility in Adult Education"

The AEMA National Networking Meeting took place on the 24th of February 2016, hosted by the AEMA Award winner, the education provider "Schloss Retzhof" in Austria.

The head of Schloss Retzhof, Joachim Gruber, welcomed guests from regional and national education providers as well as experts for accessible learning and accessible environment. The participants were eager to discuss topics like the difference between the definition of inclusion and accessibility. All participants agreed that it is important to be aware of the different areas of accessibility as there are 6 areas defined by the AEMA project:

  • Developing positive attitudes and values towards adult learners with disabilities
  • Providing an accessible environment for learning
  • Providing an accessible digital learning environment for learning
  • Planning accessible learning
  • Supporting accessible learning
  • Communicating and public relations

The most important thing is to start a progress and to develop all areas step by step. But there is more to accessibility than its different areas, there are also its target groups like people with disabilities, people with learning difficulties, elderly people, people with children, migrants, people with psychiatric disabilities or people with chronical diseases.

Our host presented their goal to develop a local information centre for inclusion and accessibility in adult education in cooperation with AEMA. First steps and talks with important stakeholders have already taken place. 


AEMA - adult education made accessible: AEMA Portal and Self-Assessment Tool

Anna Schachner (queraum) and Mario Andrisek (innovia) presented the self-assessment tool for education providers and the maturity matrix for experts of the AEMA portal. The goal of the AEMA portal is to raise awareness of the different areas of accessibility. Every education provider can use the portal to assess its organisation in terms of accessibility and to find local experts to develop certain areas.

All participants were invited to create a free account on the portal and to test the tools of the website and they found room for improvement:

  • “The descriptions of different levels of accessibility could be easier to understand.”
  • “Some terms (e.g. inclusion) lack a detailed definition.”
  • “The whole tool seems pretty time consuming.”
  • “There should be different areas for vocational and recreational education.”

The most positive comments were:

  • “The five levels of accessibility are logic, well-structured and supportive.”
  • “The tool raises awareness and can be used as first step to discuss the topic in team meetings.”
  • “All areas contain important aspects which have been neglected so far.”


Presentation: "Easy to read – the key to the world"

Walburga Fröhlich (atempo, capito Graz), expert for accessible information, explained the need of accessible information with regard to current studies and showed the connection of the development of written words and inclusive solutions for accessible information.


Presentation: "Processes for physical accessibility"

Peter Milbradt (easy entrance), expert for physical accessibility, explained the most important steps of this process with examples of well-known Austrian customers and underlined the fact that commitment and will of the customer as well as a professional process plan are crucial for the implementation of accessibility.


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