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European Year of Skills

The VOLT learning platform: Fostering independence and confidence for VET learners with disabilities

The Video Online Learning and Training project (VOLT) aims to develop training materials for staff and students in vocational education and training (VET) services for persons with disabilities. The project's goal is to create a learning platform that will enable VET staff and students across Europe to become digital collaborators, innovators, and creators through video.  

The initiative intends to improve the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to create videos for teaching and learning. VOLT encourages participants to actively take part in the learning process by cultivating a collaborative co-design culture. The project also aims to boost learners' and educators' confidence in using digital technologies, ensuring that they can create accessible and user-friendly videos that will eventually contribute to the VOLT platform. 

The idea was born out of a recognition of an increased demand for inclusive digital learning, a critical need that grew during the COVID-19 pandemic. By providing staff with the knowledge and digital skills needed to quickly adapt to online training and learning environments. VET services can continue to create inclusive programs for people with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities, while avoiding reliance on the many online tools that usually require advanced digital and literacy skills. 

A testament to VOLT's impact is the emergence of three notable tools: a comprehensive guide for VET staff, a toolkit for vocational trainees, and the VOLT Website and Video Platform. The latter offers a user-friendly and accessible learning environment, hosting a collection of videos created by learners. From practical training videos to awareness-raising content and learner achievement highlights, the platform offers a diverse array of topics to support individuals in learning through videos. 

Learn more about Elias and Julian’s inspiring stories  

Elias (20), who joined the Adolescent Department of Theotokos Foundation in Greece and took part in the VOLT project, significantly improved his communication, social, and prevocational skills through Video Modelling. As a young man with autism spectrum disorder and a learning disability, Elias found the co-design aspect especially meaningful, expressing satisfaction and pride in the trainer's caring approach to incorporating his ideas into the created videos. 

Similarly, Julian (37), a part-time radio presenter with an interest in Irish sports and music, attended the National Learning Network, Rehab Group's education and training division, in the Northwest of Ireland. As a blind person, he was unable to make tea safely and independently in the training facility or at his workplace using only a standard kettle. Julian embraced new technology, such as a one-cup hot water dispenser and a liquid level indicator and collaborated with the Digital and Assistive Technology Officer to create a video showing how to use them. Julian is now able to welcome any visitor with a cup of tea, which had a cascading learning effect, as Julian now helps staff to increase their knowledge and skills in person-centred planning and technology use. 

Their newfound skills have not only increased their confidence and independence, but also promoted their overall inclusion in the social dimensions of their workplaces. Often, skills development focuses solely on the technical requirements for specific roles. Julian and Elias' stories highlight the importance of both transversal skills and social aspects, as well as the need for a comprehensive, inclusive approach to meet the diverse needs of individuals in the workforce. 


This Erasmus+ funded project is led by Theotokos Foundation (Greece), together with several organisations across EU countries including the European Platform for Rehabilitation (Belgium), Fundación INTRAS (Spain), Mariaberg e.V. (Germany) and Rehab Group (Ireland)