In Italy, an estimated 1 million people have dementia and about 3 million are involved in their care. Around 80% of the people providing care for this population are informal and family caregivers, which usually have no formal training on dementia patients. Frequently, even formal caregivers – often migrant workers from low socio-economic backgrounds – are not specifically trained for this type of disease. Given this scenario, within the project AGE-IT, this research group aims to produce an e-learning platform that can provide training for both formal and informal caregivers of people with dementia, in order to offer potential health benefits and opportunities for both caregivers and patients. A common risk of these types of projects is to bow to technological solutionism and to overlook issues of accessibility, algorithmic biases and inequalities, such as forms of digital divide concerning internet access, skills and the capacities to mitigate risks and to benefit from online technologies. Indeed, potentially marginalised groups, such as migrant workers, could not benefit (or even be harmed) by technological design. Thus, it is crucial to consider the key role of social and digital inequalities in platform production and in how different social groups use these artifacts. To assess the needs and capacities of different caregivers and prevent risks of digital exclusion and inaccessibility of already marginalised groups, this work implements a co-design process, following an Open Space Technology strategy. Methodologically, six focus groups with formal and informal caregivers will be conducted in three Italian regions, also to address territorial issues due to the regional administration of the Italian healthcare system. Then, to involve migrant workers and other potentially marginalised figures in the co-design process, 10 semi-structured interviews will be conducted in the same regions. This bottom-up, pro-active process should contribute to the production of a sustainable and accessible platform, embedding different perspectives and values and providing equal opportunities.
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