Parsons, Sarah, Daniels, Harry, Porter, Jill and Robertson, Christopher
Organisational factors in the use and implementation of ICT in day services for adults with learning disabilities
British Journal of Developmental Disabilities, 103, (52), .
Microsoft Word BJDD_final_accepted_Feb_06.doc
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Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is becoming a part of everyday life for many adults with learning disabilities. However, there is scant information available about what factors are important for using ICT in post-formal educational contexts with adults with learning disabilities. Eight Day Services within one organisation were visited to observe activities and interview staff and service users about ICT, which included use of personal computers, digital cameras and the Internet. Three main levels of ICT use and implementation were identified as well as a number of organisational factors associated with the regular use of ICT resources. Staff beliefs about ICT, the management and organisation of staffing and clear ideas about the purpose of ICT were important factors in addition to the basic requirements of providing resources and training. These factors are useful in guiding practitioners towards implementing and using ICT and highlight the importance of the context within which ICT use takes place. The provision of hardware, software and training are not sufficient by themselves to guarantee good use of ICT and careful attention needs to be paid to wider influential factors. Sharing of ideas about using ICT resources with adults with learning disabilities is timely in relation to the current policy context of social inclusion, but future development depends on the availability of sustained funding to adequately maintain and update equipment; without this the factors supporting regular ICT use described here will remain isolated and largely irrelevant to many people who could otherwise benefit from the use of ICT resources.
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