Youth, Accessibility, and Employability in Latin America

Since the early 1990s, there has been an increasing interest and investment in information and communication technology (ICT) training centers designed to expand employability options for socially excluded groups in Latin America.

This study examines programs that provide basic computer training for people with disabilities and at-risk youth. Based on primary research in five countries (Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Venezuela), it explores the landscape of issues around technology and employability and investigates how ICT training impacts the employability concerns of two populations with diverse needs and histories of social and economic exclusion.

Findings are broadly divided into three segments:

1.) Environmental factors that impact such projects, including the aspirational environment and the discourse of technology; 2.) Short-term impacts of these programs, including the creation of pathways to employment, community-building, as well as impacts on self-esteem and stigmatization and the potential of mismatched employment expectations from access to these programs; and 3.) Factors that influence the success of such programs including cost, certification, and accessible technology