Competence Network (KI-I)

The KI-I was founded in the year 2003 following an initiative by the Upper Austrian local government. It is supported by the following organisations:

The prime objective of KI-I is to improve the living conditions of people with disabilities and elderly people. The KI-I can be seen as a platform for information exchange in this area. It builds a bridge between fundamental research, application and teaching. The KI-I offers support for institutions and companies when dealing with projects for the improvement of the integration of people with disabilities in a social and job-related context.

By establishing a network of institutions and companies, a wide spectrum of know-how will flow into projects, which lead to innovations in facilities of the target groups and give incentives for the Upper Austrian economy.

Acting as an information platform in the areas of ICT, Assistive Technologies, accessible web- and software design as well as Easy-to-Read the KI-I organises consultancy, seminars and know-how transfers, but also events that are targeted at a larger audience, like for example the annual IKT-Forum.

The knowledge gained in many projects is not only used in the projects themselves, but is also used in a scientific manner. Frequent publications at scientific conferences as well as in journals and books confirm that the KI-I is up to date in its research and that the results are internationally accepted.

The KI-I is independent and open for all actors in the field. It is to be seen as a companion, supporter and multiplier, but never as a competitor. The KI-I is unique in Austria and also beyond.

KI-I stands for Information Technology Competence Network to promote the integration of people with disabilities. From the KI-I staff, eleven have a disability, and the range is wide, ranging from limitations on mobility to visual impairments to mental impairment. The areas of application range from technical management to research, peer surveys and training. Currently, the KI-I also employs 7 people with mental disabilities. They are trained peer interrogators using the nueva method. They have double expertise in these surveys, on the one hand through their three-year training, and on the other hand through belonging to the group of those who interview them. Some of them come from many years of supervised employment. Pioneers Employees with disabilities show in their daily work what this target group is capable of when the conditions are right. In addition to lectures and counseling, colleagues with intellectual disabilities were lecturers at the JKU or held guest lectures at the PH OÖ or the School for Social Care Professions of Caritas Upper Austria. In total, 13 lectures and workshops were held by colleagues with mental disabilities. An important criterion for success is meeting at eye level, employees with disabilities are equal peers and have rights and duties. It is important for employees with mental disabilities to be aware that they have to take responsibility for their actions.