‘In The Making’ Connected Communities Project – Facilitator Perceptions
In 2016 the University of Salford led a project “In the Making” to explore how digital fabrication technologies could empower disabled people to participate more fully in education and employment. This project offered a short course that allowed participants to gain training in 3D printing technology. The technology was explored as an avenue in which they could be creative, and also design solutions for their own specific problems. An external evaluation of the project was undertaken, focusing on participant reaction, with the analysis compiled as a report. The findings from this pilot project were very positive, with the document identifying the benefits gained by participants and providing constructive suggestions regarding the way forward. The most important messages to emerge were that participants wanted an opportunity to engage in a more formal programme of training, and a chance to develop expertise through work experience. This has led to two further pieces of work: 1. An investigation of employer perceptions (published separately) and 2. An investigation of the experiences of the project’s technical facilitators (this report). This exploration was undertaken by carrying out a series of in-depth interviews with technical facilitators from the original project. This report provides a detailed analysis of the evidence generated from these interviews. The second (featured in this report) explored the impact that the original training initiative had on professional practices, based on the responses of the facilitators.