Innovative Practice 2020 on Inclusive Education and ICT

People with intellectual disabilities train peers to use digital media and ICT

PIKSL is a social enterprise in Düsseldorf, Germany, which runs projects to support people with intellectual disabilities. In 2014, PIKSL launched PIKSL Mobil – a peer-to-peer teaching approach whereby people with intellectual disabilities teach other persons with disabilities and seniors living in residential facilities to use digital media and information and communication technologies independently. Three two-hour courses are held weekly, which involve around 250 people per year.

“PIKSL Mobil breaks down barriers and puts people with a high need for support in contact with technologies.”

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:PIKSL Mobil
Organisation:PIKSL by In der Gemeinde leben
of Implementation
Germany/ Düsseldorf
Start Year2014


  • Ten people with intellectual disabilities have been trained as trainers.
  • Around 1,000 people have received training in ICT skills.


People with learning difficulties and senior citizens are often excluded from the use of information and communication technologies, creating a vast digital divide, especially affecting those who live in supervised accommodations.


PIKSL Mobil was developed by people with intellectual disabilities who identified training and education needs that had not been covered by traditional education facilities, such as adult education centres. People with intellectual disabilities were trained by PIKSL in using digital technology and how to train others, such as how to use mobile phone and computer applications. The trained trainers collect a backpack from PIKSL with technical equipment, including a router, tablet computers, and headphones, and then proceed to residential facilities and senior citizen centres. There, they offer a short introduction to the devices before giving one-to-one training, for example, on how to use news sites, play games, and make video calls. Instead of a fixed training programme, content is based on the needs, abilities, and pace of each participant.

As of 2019, ten trainers with intellectual disabilities are training groups of up to eight people living in homes for the elderly and in communal residential facilities for people with intellectual disabilities and people who have suffered brain damage.

Two men use technical support by Exper, enjoying themselves and being guided by a man. © Benjamin Freese

People with intellectual disabilities are trained by PIKSL in using digital technology and how to train others. © Benjamin Freese


The Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth together with the German Association of Organizations for Seniors fund the PIKSL Mobil services offered in facilities for seniors. Funding for the In der Gemeinde leben programme for those living in residential facilities comes from PIKSL’s own budget.

PIKSL Mobil is part of the educational catalogue of PIKSL Laboratories. In 2019, the laboratories are being scaled to establish a nationwide network of Inclusive Education locations.

Going forward, PIKSL Mobil hopes to provide digital education for people with disabilities and senior citizens throughout the country.



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