STS: Digital Inclusion and Competence Development

Competences are key for digital participation. Both persons that meet accessibility challenges, as well as their support workers and educating professionals, need competences to allow for effective and meaningful participation of all in digital environments.  A number of studies around the digital divide concentrate on its different dimensions, including access to technology and the internet, technical and content accessibility, digital literacy and digital competence development, socio-economic, policy and cultural factors (see ENTELIS network projects and publications).  With the recent impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the rapid advances in digital and assistive technology, efforts around digital literacy are currently increasing. There seems to be a variety of recently developed digital competence frameworks and training efforts for learners and educators across sectors, which however are still to be validated. 

The diversity of dimensions around digital divide and competence development reveals the complexity of the issue, and need to continue discussions, research and development in order to remove barriers and create new opportunities for digital inclusion, through collaborations and co-design.

In the Special Thematic Session on “Digital Inclusion and Competence Development”, we welcome presentations addressing the issue of reducing the digital divide for diverse groups of people, and those at risk for digital exclusion, with particular focus on the role of assistive and accessible technology. Topics include, but are not limited to,

  • Research and development on assistive technology competence development;
  • Dimensions of the digital divide and relevant responses;
  • Systematic development of AT and accessibility competences; 
  • Fostering digital competences of educators and stakeholders working with persons with disabilities of all ages for promoting their own digital competences;
  • Learner-centred co-design digital learning environments for inclusion;
  • Policy and decision making for digital inclusion and their experiences
  • Case studies and projects that promote competency frameworks, learning programmes, inclusive certification practices


  • Katerina Mavrou, Department of Education Sciences, European University Cyprus, Cyprus
  • Evert-Jan Hoogerwerf, AIAS Bologna onlus, Italy
  • Silvio Pagliara, MANE’ Impresa Sociale, Bari, Italy

Information: sts08 at aaate2023 dot eu