FreedomTech hosted an online CHAT Gathering on April 7th 2020, titled
Covid 19: Challenges and Opportunities
The meeting was hosted by Sarah Gavra Boland and facilitated by Joan O’Donnell from FreedomTech
We were joined by Professor Mac MacLachlan who outlined the importance of access to technology and assistive technology at this time and outlined some of his work with the ALL Institute in Maynooth University. Mac also outlined his role in developing an understanding of the role of AT internationally with the World Health Organisation, and his current role within the HSE which focuses on technologically supported psychosocial supports within disability services.
Siobhan Long closed the meeting calling on everyone to work together to develop the solutions we all wish to bring about for the benefit of people with disabilities, chronic conditions, and older people at this time. She emphasised the benefit of CHAT participants contributing blog posts after this event, describing in more detail particularly innovative initiatives that they are involved in.
Sixty-nine participants engaged in a general opening discussion which was followed by 8 break out discussions. The theme of each discussions is listed below with a link to notes.
- Therapy and Assessment
- Day Service Provision
- Independent Living
- Access to AT
- Reaching those not on line
- Digital Skills
- Ethics and Safeguarding Technology
Each group considered the following questions:
- What is the greatest unmet need that you are coming across/experiencing regarding access to technology and assistive technology for people with disabilities?
- How can we work together to meet some of those needs? To share innovations and solutions?
- What innovations and opportunities have you developed or identified that you can share?