Communications & Information Officer Inclusion Ireland
“Assistive Technology can greatly enhance the lives of people with disabilities and is an important tool in supporting people to live more independent lives.
“Assistive Technology includes screen reading software which can support people with vision or literacy challenges, voice communication for people who don’t communicate verbally and wearable technology which can remind people to take medications or carry out tasks.
“Assistive technology can benefit a wide range of people, including older people, people with memory challenges and people with disabilities.
“Assistive Technology has the potential to support people to access employment, complete their education and live in the community. Research has demonstrated the potential of Assistive Technology in enabling people with complex support needs to communicate.
“The use of Assistive Technology can support people with complex needs to communicate their will and preference, can enhance their relationships and can promote their inclusion in the life of the community.
“Despite the many potential benefits, it is an under developed and under explored area in Ireland.
“Enable Ireland and the Disability Federation of Ireland have published a discussion paper entitled ‘Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities and Older People’ which outlines the benefits of Assistive Technology for the user and for society.
“The paper calls for a whole of government policy statement on Assistive Technology, the introduction of an Assistive Technology Passport and for a single agency to coordinate a system of supports.”
Cormac Cahill Communications & Information Officer Inclusion Ireland March ‘17