A conceptual framework related to ICT-AT competence development: The theoretical foundations of ENTELIS

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2015;217:664-70.


This paper provides an overview of the construction of a conceptual framework regarding ICT-Assistive Technology (ICT-AT) competence development, designed to gain awareness of the elements involved and to facilitate the understanding and exchange among stakeholders of the ENTELIS (European Network for Technology Enhanced Learning in an Inclusive Society) project. The framework was designed based on the basic principles of Activity Theory, which however have been adapted and adjusted to the project's objectives. Hence, it includes a map of actors and other parameters functioning in a person surrounding "ecosystem", and it allows us to understand and map roles, expectations, barriers, as well as to devise solutions to tackle digital divide. Taking as a starting and central point the person and his/her wish to self-determination and fulfilment (quality of life) and the related needs, it provides a map of how the various concepts and variables interact within the theoretical and methodological perspective of the collection, description and assessment of experiences in ICT-AT education and competences development of persons with disabilities (PwD) of all ages. The conceptual framework represents two interacting learning activity systems: (a) the internal system of the end-user, which includes the end-user and his/her needs, the setting where learning takes place and the other actors involved, and (b) the external system, which embraces the internal system but also wider issues of policy and practice and experiences and 'actors' that contribute to the development and use of ICT and ICT-AT skills in all areas of life. The elements of these systems and their interaction provide the basis for analysing experiences and advancing knowledge relevant for bridging the digital divide.

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Disabled Persons / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Needs Assessment
  • Quality of Life
  • Self-Help Devices*
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical