Tuesday, December 7th, 2010
A program developed by The University of Queensland to improve literacy skills has become a nationally recognised tertiary qualification for young adults with an intellectual disability.

Latch-On (Literacy and Technology Hands-On) has been accredited as a Certificate II in Literacy and Technology by the Queensland Department of Education and Training. The multimedia-based program was developed by Associate Professor Karen Moni and Dr Anne Jobling in UQ’s School of Education.

UniQuest, which enables the University’s transfer of knowledge into commercial and community ventures, licensed Latch-On to Endeavour Foundation in 2004 and extended the agreement earlier this year.

Endeavour will offer the Certificate II to all Latch-On students in 2011.

UniQuest Managing Director, David Henderson, said the accreditation was a valuable endorsement of the research underpinning the program.

“The accreditation acknowledges the impact that university partnerships have on improving lives for a wide community spectrum, not just business and industry sectors,” he said.

“Without this program, many of these young people would fall through the post-school educational gap and miss out on this opportunity to develop their potential.

“UniQuest has helped the University make this inspirational and practical program more accessible to Australian families, and to see Latch-On gain formal recognition is really satisfying. We congratulate Endeavour on this achievement.”

General Manager Disability Services Operations and Community Engagement, Gail Davidson, said the long-awaited outcome formally acknowledged that Latch-On directly improves literacy.

“Latch-On is unique in that it delivers literacy and numeracy classes which combine traditional teaching styles and technology instruction. It also delivers training in health and fitness,” Ms Davidson said.

“Currently, 24 students with an intellectual disability are being empowered by computer technology to enhance literacy, self-confidence, independence and work placement opportunities.

“Endeavour has had overwhelming support and demand for the expansion of the program, which is why we will be introducing it to Sydney in 2011.”

Latch-On, which has also been licensed to Vancouver’s North Island College and Canada’s Down Syndrome Research Foundation, is just one example of innovative research that UniQuest has commercialised from the social and behavioural sciences.

Contact Profile

UniQuest Pty Limited

Established by The University of Queensland in 1984, UniQuest is widely recognised as one of Australia’s largest and most successful university commercialisation groups, benchmarking in the top tier of technology transfer worldwide. From an intellectual property portfolio of 1,500+ patents it has created over 60 companies, and since 2000 UniQuest and its start-ups have raised more than $400 million to take university technologies to market. Annual sales of products using UQ technology and licensed by UniQuest are running at $3 billion. UniQuest now commercialises innovations developed at The University of Queensland and its commercialisation partner institutions: the University of Wollongong, University of Technology Sydney, James Cook University, University of Tasmania, Mater Medical Research Institute, and Queensland Health. UniQuest also provides access to an expansive and exclusive network of independent academics to tailor a consulting or project R&D solution to meet the diverse needs of industry and government, facilitating some 500 consulting, expert opinion, testing, and contract research services each year.

UniQuest is also a leading Australasian provider of international development assistance recognised for excellence in technical leadership, management and research. Working with agencies such as AusAID, NZAID, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, UniQuest has developed and implemented more than 400 projects in 46 countries throughout the Pacific, South-East Asia, the Indian sub-continent and Africa.

Leanne Wyvill
P: +61 7 3365 4037
M: +61 0 409767199
W: www.uniquest.com.au


Endeavour Foundation is one of the largest non-government organisations in Australia supporting some 4000 people with a disability through services and businesses at over 230 locations in Queensland and New South Wales. Endeavour exists to provide opportunities for people with a disability in order to increase their participation in every aspect of society. Endeavour was established in 1951 by a group of Brisbane parents and friends responding to a need for education, care and support services for their children with intellectual disability. In 1986 the Department of Education took over the educational role of children with an intellectual disability, leaving Endeavour to concentrate on the provision of development and support services to adults with a disability. Endeavour now offers a multitude of services for children, adolescents and adults. With its large membership and successful fundraising and promotional activities Endeavour has established local offices across Queensland and recently expanded into NSW with the acquisition of Employment Services providing jobs for nearly 600 people. For more information about Latch-On, visit http://latchon.endeavour.com.au/index.html

Vanessa Boman
P: +61 7 3908 7254
M: 0423 842 327
W: www.endeavour.com.au


Latch-On, Down Syndrome, UniQuest, intellectual disability



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