The European Commission has awarded a major Co-Fund grant to the ASSISTID Project of the Doctrid Research Institute, run by the charity Respect (chaired by Mr Dermot Desmond). Professor Brian Harvey of the RCSI is Research Director for Doctrid and the Coordinator of the all-Ireland ASSISTID Project, which includes all 7 Irish Universities, Queen’s University and the University of Ulster in the partnership.
Professor Lizbeth Goodman of UCD’s SMARTlab and Inclusive Design Research Centre of Ireland @ UCD will chair the Academic Advisory Committee of the five year ASSISTID project, and SMARTlab will lead on the technical and online workpackages to support the recruitment, selection and project management of 40 fully funded Post-Docs, and will collaborate with the Programme Board on promotions, communications and online networking of the project researchers and wider communities. ASSISTID supports a five year programme of fellowships and research projects and training programmes exploring innovations in the use of assistive technologies by and for people with intellectual disabilities (with a focus on Autism Spectrum Disorders).
The first Call for the first set of 20 Post-Docs will soon be announced; of those, 16 will be incoming to the partner universities in Ireland, and 4 will be outgoing to the USA and Canadian partner sites. In addition to Professor Harvey and Professor Goodman, the core ASSISTID project team includes national and international researchers and stakeholders including Professor Michael Leahy of Michigan State University, Dr Geraldine Leader of the University of Galway (Clinical Lead for ASSISTID), Mr Liam Walsh of Respect, and Dr Lynnae Routledge of the US National Council on Disability. UCD is also represented on the ASSISTID founding project team by Dr Mick Donegan, SMARTlab Adjunct Senior Researcher, and Mr Huw Williams, SMARTlab CTO, along with Dr Suzanne Guerin of the CHS Centre for Disability Studies, all of whom sit on the Advisory Panel for the Project. Professor Karola Dillenburger of QUB and Professor Mickey Keenan of Ulster University (and Adjunct at UCD) represent the North in this all-Ireland consortium. 48 UCD faculty members from across the colleges are members of the IDRC, and will provide mentorship to fellows as appropriate.
The total project funding in addition to the EC contribution includes Michigan State University’s generous donation to establish the prestigious international Hegarty Fellowships, in honour of the late Sister Martha Hegarty, along with match funds from Respect, and a further match of 1,500,000 in software from the IDRC’s main partner site in Canada: the IDRC at OCADU (Toronto), directed by Professor Jutta Treviranus. The total project funding, and the outputs of related SMARTlab and IDRC projects at UCD including the Leonardo Accessible E-Learning Project, further support this effort towards new CTI solutions to enable development and testing of a co-designed and fully interoperable and accessible online learning environment using open source tools to create personalisable mobile learning platforms suited to the needs of all the world’s learners.
By funding and supporting 40 Post-Doc projects in the domain of Inclusive Design, this innovative project seeks to make a major intervention into the public’s understanding of the real and varied social contributions to be made by People with Intellectual Disabilities, and to foster new innovations in the assistive technology sector as applied to the field of inclusive learning. UCD-SMARTlab’s expertise to be contributed to the overall intellectual output of the project includes: Creative Technology Innovation; Learning Tools for Intellectual Disability; Assistive Technologies; Personalised Learning Environments; Mobile and Virtual World Technologies; Personalised Learning; Interactive Tools for Autism; Digital Media Advocacy and Training; Creative and Artistic Expression: Social Interactions Using Art; Animations for Inclusive Learning; Design for Diversity.
IDRC@UCD colleagues will contribute from across the Colleges to offer additional expertise in domains such as Social Entrepreneurship Solutions for Widening Participation; and Human Rights Studies as Pertaining to People with Intellectual Disabilities. SMARTlab and IDRC researchers will collaborate with colleagues across all the UCD Colleges to provide a fully interdisciplinary and flexible research environment suited to the needs of the Post-Doc Researchers and PhD students to be recruited to work in this exciting domain.
For further background also see: http://smartlab-ie.com/2013/11/professor-lizbeth-goodman-as-ucd-featured-researcher/