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Digital Enterprise Pathways National Forum

Digital Enterprise: Pathways to Education and Employment for Young People with Disabilities, is a national project lead by Professor Denise Wood, based in the School of Communication, International Studies and Languages at the University of South Australia and funded by the Australian Government Department of Education in 2013 through the Broadband Enabled Education and Skills Services Programme.

Together with researchers from Adelaide University, Flinders University and Victoria University and four not for profit organisations, four project sites were established around Australia: Christies Beach, Adelaide (Uniting Communities); Reservoir, Melbourne (Reservoir Neighbourhood House); Darwin (Corrugated Iron Youth Arts) and Blacktown, Sydney (BREED). This project, based on the ‘Lab’ program and the South African ‘New Venture Creation’, explored a Mentor based learning environment to provide IT and Entrepreneurship training to children aged 10 – 20 years of age, with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Acquired Brain Injury and other disabilities. In this, participants directed their own learning by devising personalised goals which were revisited throughout the project to assist in measuring success.

The project had good outcomes in reducing the social isolation often experienced by this cohort and the participatory action research approach resulted in numerous insights into how to provide IT and Entrepreneurship mentoring programs for young people with disabilities which have the potential to be applied in other contexts

On Friday the 29th April 2016 UniSA hosted a National Forum in which we discussed the research findings and experiences from the project. A video of the Chief Investigators' presentations of the research findings is available here