Logo of the ETNA project European Thematic Networkon Assistive Information Technologies

Presentation

The project

ETNA is a thematic network funded by the European Union, within the ICT PSP (Information and Communication Technology Policy Support Programme) of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP).

Over a period of 3 years, it worked at establishing a European Web Portal providing unified access to information on ICT assistive products and related organisations and services all over Europe, and to allow access to repositories of freeware, open source software products and tools useful for e-accessibility. The Portal was intended to upgrade the already-existing web portal of the European Assistive Technology Information Network (EASTIN), the most comprehensive information service on assistive technology worldwide.

Our network

We are 23 leading Organizations, each with acknowledged commitment in the ICT AT area, scattered across 13 European Countries. The Project was co-ordinated by the Centre for Innovation and Technical Transfer (CITT) of the Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation, based in Milano, Italy.

For the whole duration of the project ETNA has been working in close collaboration with ATIS4all (European Thematic Network on Assistive Technologies and Inclusive Solutions), a thematic network belonging to the same cluster connecting other 17 Institutions.

Main goals

  • Providing comprehensive information on assistive technology products, e-accessibility solutions and related services offered across Europe, thus empowering citizens with a disability in relation to the knowledge and the choice of assistive technologies;
  • Initiating an interdisciplinary and trans-national community of expertise involving academics, industrialists, professionals in health care and education, end-users, researchers and developers, with a great potential to improve exchange of knowledge and to boost the development of assistive solutions at various levels (especially open source software products);
  • Contributing to the development of a European AT and e-accessibility market, thus helping companies - especially SMEs, who dominate in this area - to benefit from huge market potential.

The Web Portal

In the course of the project, as tangible results gradually took shape, technical considerations and thoughts related to future sustainability led to the decision of having two distinct but coexisting Portals - instead of a single Portal for both networks - communicating with each other:

  • the ETNA Information Portal – a search engine that aggregates information from various providers and repositories all over Europe and beyond – to be developed by ETNA and later taken up by the EASTIN Association;
  • the ATIS4all Collaborative Portal – connecting all stakeholders through a virtual community – to be developed by ATIS4All and later taken up by Technosite (the ATIS4all coordinator).

Both Portals have been finalised. As planned, the Information Portal developed by ETNA has been moved to the official EASTIN address http://www.eastin.eu and has taken over the previous releases of the EASTIN system. It works in all languages of the European Union and opens automatically in your language by recognising the configuration of your Internet browser.

Activities

A concise overview of the activities carried out within the project can be found in the ETNA FINAL REPORT. All deliverables produced in the course of the project are available in the section documents of this website, while all other key events and educational initiatives (webinars) are described in the section news. Major events at each steps were the six ETNA workshops, attended by experts of all the partitipating Institutions: