Tuesday 23 November 13:15-14:45 room C2


It is not self-evident that the Information Society will become an inclusive and empowering society, as education, work and services, including health services, are more and more based on the concept of an active, motivated and technologically skilled citizen. Nevertheless, some of the threats for social exclusion could be counteracted by information and communications technologies themselves, especially by the development of new communication tools for specific groups of persons with disabilities and by the use of telematics to enhance experiences of social connection and interest.

The session will have a dual scope:

1. It will highlight technologies and applications with good potential for improving “quality of life” by empowering older and/or disabled people. The focus is especially on tools for inter-personal communication and on equal access for all persons.

2. The role of information technology as both a risk factor and contributor to well-being and quality of life will also be discussed against the background of the challenge of developing effective and user-friendly applications in health and social sectors, and the progress of the European Mental Health Agenda promoted by the Finnish Presidency in 1999.

The following projects, initiatives and perspectives will be presented and discussed:

Telematics Applications Projects

TASC: Telematics Applications Supporting Cognition. This software is intended as decision support for persons with cognitive disabilities (brain-damage or dementia). It enables these persons to cope with daily tasks, social interaction and the outside world with reduced need for assistance.

ALDICT: Access of Persons with Learning Difficulties to ICT’s. The ALDICT software converts automatically between text and communication symbols. Combined with automatic translation and an e-mail module it will enable persons with learning disability (intellectual disability) to use electronic mail and communicate across language barriers.

MORE : MObile REscue GMS phone with localisation and emergency features, aims at integrating disabled and elderly people into the mobile information and communication society.

Other European and large-scale efforts

The European Mental Health Agenda will highlight the potential role of information society technologies for more empowering services in many sectors of the society, including the promotion of mental health.

The activities of STAKES (Finnish National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health): STAKES is the leading Finnish R&D agency for ICT in the health care and social sectors.


Chairperson: Eero Riikonen (FI)

  • Mr. Gunnar Fagerberg (S), Senior Adviser at the Swedish Handicap Institute, President of the AAATE: Telematic applications supporting cognition
  • Dr. Geert Freyhoff (B), Project Manager of ILSMH European Association: Access of persons with learning disability to Information and Communication Technologies
  • Ms. Elizabeth Kampmann Hansen (DK), Deputy Director of the Danish Centre for Technical Aids for Rehabilitation and Education: Making daily life easier for older persons: Providing information on assistive devices to older persons using new, multi-media applications
  • Dr. Mauno Konttinen (FI), Deputy Director General at Stakes: Towards seamless chains of care and cure
  • Dr. Eero Riikonen (FI), Development Manager in Rehabilitation Foundation, Co-ordinator of European Inspiration Society Network: The European Mental Health Agenda and the telematics of mental health promotion
  • Mrs. Kristiina Sunell (FI), Benefon, Western Europe and member of the MORE DE-3006 project team: Freedom of mobility for all
  • Artur Serra (S), Anthropologist, Co-ordinator of the Centre for Internet Applications, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya: Community networking and new community health care systems:Complementarities in the digital society.


Manuel Monteiro (Manuel.Monteiro@cec.eu.int)

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