What is assistive technology (AT)? How can it help me? How can I find out about what’s out there? What’s new? How do I know what AT is best for me? What do others use? How can I access it? Is there funding available? How do I access this funding? Where do I find out the answers to all these questions?
Assistive technology is increasingly enabling people with disability to perform tasks they could not otherwise do, to perform tasks more easily, and to perform them more safely and securely. It is allowing many people with disability to reach their potential at home, in their community and in the workplace.
Assistive technology, as defined by the World Health Organisation, is ‘any device or system that allows individuals to perform tasks they would otherwise be unable to do or increases the ease and safety with which tasks can be performed’.
Under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), people with disability are able to apply for assistive technology to support the achievement of goals outlined in their plan.
In this time of greater consumer choice and control it is therefore essential that people with disability have easy access to good information about assistive technology that enables them to make informed decisions around what may be useful for them.
At the ILC an exciting new project is underway that aims to create better pathways for people to find out information about AT. And who better to lead this project than people who use AT themselves?
The ‘AT Capacity Building Project’ team, who are all users of assistive technology, includes Joscelyn Franciscus, Zel Iscel, Danielle Loizou-Lake and Nick Passanisi.
Together they work as a steering committee, applying the principles of co-design ensuring the project is user led.
Project Lead Danielle Loizou-Lake said the project has the potential to change the way people access and share information around assistive technology.
“The goal is to create pathways of information for people with disability to have better choice and control around what assistive technology may be useful for them’ said Danielle.
Occupational Therapist and AT user on the project team Jos Franciscus said the team wants to normalise the use of assistive technology by creating platforms through social media, resources and information sessions.
“Expert AT users will contribute to the content in an engaging manner, encouraging others to consider their possibilities through assistive technology,” said Jos.
The project team are about to unroll their community engagement strategy which will encourage people with disability and their families from across Western Australia to have input into the project.
If you are, or know of, a novice, developing or expert AT user that would like to be involved in contributing to this exciting project we would love to hear from you.
Please contact Danielle at Danielle.Loizou-Lake@ilc.com.au or phone 08 9381 0687.
Meet the Project Team
Nick is the Director of ‘Another Angle’, he studied acting at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts which led him to study drama teaching at Murdoch University. Nick brings his expertise in training, program development, access and inclusion advice along with extensive experience in working with local government areas (councils).
Danielle is an exercise physiologist with a focus on health promotion programs. Danielle has been involved in health and recreation opportunities for people with disability to improve wellbeing. She was also the Director of corporate health company ‘WorkSmart Health’. With expertise in project management and strategic planning Danielle will act as the project officer for the project team.
Zel has extensive experience in the disability sector. Her consultancy ‘Inclusive World’ draws on the expertise of a wide network of groups, organisations and professional affiliations. Zel’s expertise in inclusive and accessible communication platforms will ensure the project is suitable for all demographics. She is a strong communicator and advocate in the disability sector.
Joscelyn is an occupational therapist and founder and Director of ‘Cord’, an organisation which raises funds to provide people with spinal cord injuries life-improving technology and equipment. She was also a co-founder of corporate health company ‘Body Smart’. Jos has an exceptional ability to market and campaign a project to ensure it is appealing to the audience and communicated in an effective manner.