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The Plain-e (Selko-e) project 2007
The second project season of Plain-e titled Citizen Activity in the Information Society (2007-2010) was founded on the experiences of the first project season (2003-2006) and on new innovation. On the second project season the focus has been moved towards the independent use of Internet communication devices by people struggling with learning disabilities.
Training and courses
The training and course activity of the first season was continued and the courses were carried out under the same titles, although the content, instruments and operation models had remarkably changed. The changes in information and communications technology force constant updates and development in course content. Our aim was also to improve the documentation of content and instructions related to training on the project homepage throughout the year.
Our third Web Editing Basics -course concentrated on providing persons with intellectual disabilities the skills needed for undertaking and utilizing Internet communication. By taking advantage of open source programming products and free online services the course participants learned to access Internet services and to produce their own materials for Internet publishing. This time the focus was on Internet-based discourse. The course was divided into four segments and complemented with distance learning activities between sessions (www.selko-e.fi/vt). The popular Basics for Computer Use -course was organized for the tenth time, this time in Tampere again (www.selko-e.fi/ttpk). The programs used were made available to the students after finishing the course. Web Editing Basics and Basics for Computer Use were organized in cooperation with the Kuhankoski vocational school for people with special needs.
Good for Everyone -training sessions for municipal professionals were continued and training on accessibility, plain language and customer services were organized in cooperation with Valkeakoski city (www.selko-e.fi/kh). Training on Word and Excel programs was provided for the staff in The Finnish Association for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities.
Discussion forums, homepages and guides
All material produced by the Plain-e -project is published online and found at www.selko-e.fi/oppaat. The most popular guides of 2007 were still Computer as source of Joy: Computing For Absolute Beginners and Everyday Information Security and as a new item Computer as source of Joy: Computing For Absolute Beginners 2, which was produced in cooperation and focuses on the computer as a source of self expression. The contents of Everyday Information Security as well as that of other guides was updated during the year. The guide informing about free and Open Source software (www.selko-e.fi/avoimet) and the guide mapping the possibilities of Linux (www.selko-e.fi/linux) may also be found on the site.
The amount of visitors on the project homepage climbed to 3038 visitors per month (in 2004 the figure was 600 visitors per month, in 2005;1370 and 2006; 2176). The most popular service on the site was the supervised discussion forum, which was established this year. In addition to the forum, the guides and course related pages were most often downloaded. Whenever possible, the guides are published as both web pages and files in order to increase availability.
Plain-e maintains homepages for the students in our courses located within the www.selko-e.com -service. A listing of functioning web pages (www.selko-e.fi/kotisivut) notably increased the visits on the homepages of persons with intellectual disabilities. The home page quotas are 2-5 megabytes in size, and course participants may update their pages after the course as well, as they are given administrative privileges over their homepages.
Cooperation was carried out with e.g. We for Ourselves Association, the cities of Tampere and Valkeakoski, Pirkanmaa regional library, Kuhankoski vocational school for people with special needs, Inclusion Europe and Finnish Association of People with Mobility Disabilities.