EUSTAT Study (Empowering Users Through Assistive Technology), Training Manuals

EUSTAT, a European project carried out within the EU/Telematics Programme, has published educational material specifically addressed towards end-users of Assistive Technology - people with disabilities. Internet publication URL:

The EUSTAT Study (Empowering Users Through Assistive Technology), is a European project carried out within the EU/Telematics Programme with the aim of developing educational material specifically addressed towards end-users of Assistive Technology (people with disabilities and their families).

The main product of the Study consists of the following two books, that have been published in six languages (English, Danish, Dutch, French, Italian and Portuguese) and are now available from our Institute:
via Capecelatro 66
I-20148 Milano
fax +39 02 40 09 01 57, e-mail BOOKS@SIVA.IT.

Further information can be found in the official EUSTAT website The books are also downloadable from this website.

The following are abstracts of each book.

Manual for End-Users

EUSTAT Consortium
European Commission, Milano 1999
ISBN 88-85936-30-X

This book is a basic educational package to be used directly by end-users of Assistive Technology or as a textbook for educational initiatives. It is written in plain, easy-to-understand language. It is divided into eight chapters that progressively lead the reader from a basic understanding of Assistive Technology (AT), how to choose it and how to seek advice to a deeper insight into the implications of AT at both individual and social level. In this way, the manual is helpful to novice and expert users alike. It can also assist readers in their personal growth towards more in-depth knowledge, which can be used not only for improving personal autonomy, but also for helping others by acting as peer counsellors.

After some introductory considerations, three chapters (Be prepared for the process of getting AT; Choosing and getting AT; and The service delivery system) offer methods for analysing one's own daily life activities in order to identify areas where AT can be useful; they also highlight aspects the user should be aware of when seeking external advice or accessing a public service delivery system. Concrete examples are offered by the chapter People and AT: some stories of success, that illustrate how AT could solve problems in real life for five persons with disabilities. A comprehensive description follows (chapter Knowing AT) of existing AT products and services, together with many practical examples and pictures. Chapter Information resources and personal advice on AT describes information tools, information sites, and other possible sources of advice that can be sought when choosing AT. In the chapter For you who want to know more the focus shifts from an individual perspective to a social one, so as to understand the impact of AT on society, to communicate better with professionals and other stakeholders, and to be ready to keep pace with future developments. The final chapter (The next challenge: from user to peer counsellor) offers ideas, methods and tips for those expert users who wish to make their experience available to novice users.

Manual for Trainers of End-Users

EUSTAT Consortium
European Commission, Milano 1999
ISBN 88-85936-25-3

This book - also known as the EUSTAT Guidelines - is intended for people who organise and carry out educational programmes for end-users of Assistive Technology (AT). These may be user organisations, self-help groups, rehabilitation or social services, mixed user and professional organisations, or AT providers. The book helps reflect about establishing priorities, focusing goals, and clarifying the role of AT in the users' empowerment process. It also offers methods and tools for designing and implementing educational initiatives.

This book is divided into six chapters. Chapter One (Guidelines in brief) clarifies the objectives of this book and the intended readership. It also offers a general overview of the concepts explored in the other chapters, so it can be used as a checklist for organisers of educational initiatives. Chapter Two (Basic concepts) clarifies some basic terms related to disability and AT that educators should know before undertaking any educational initiative. Chapter Three (Setting objectives and adopting methods) helps organisers of educational programmes to set objectives, label them according to a consistent terminology, and take decisions about priorities and critical factors. Chapter Four (Organising educational initiatives) addresses the organisation of educational initiatives, including the design process, the selection of topics to cover, pedagogical methods and styles, and practicalities. Chapter Five (Gearing to the audience) discusses factors to consider so as to meet the learning pace of trainees and ensure that the knowledge delivered will be useful in their daily life context. Chapter Six (Case studies) offers three case studies that may be useful as concrete examples of educational activities for end-users. These are based on experiences carried out by three EUSTAT partners in Belgium, France and Italy in 1998.

Renzo Andrich
SIVA, Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi ONLUS - IRCCS
via Capecelatro 66, 20148 Milano Italy
tel +39 02 40 30 84 45 (direct)
tel +39 02 40 30 83 25 (secretary)
fax +39 02 40 09 01 57