FreedomTech National Assembly

Freedomtech a passport to inclusion

Reminder

Three weeks to go until our first National Assembly !

FreedomTech National Assembly: Making It Happen

This event is for all stakeholders, including service providers committed to developing innovative supports and interested in exploring how technology can help. We will explore the design and delivery of an effective Ecosystem including the Assistive Technology Passport model. This event is inspired by the 2016 discussion paper developed by Enable Ireland and DFI:  ‘Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities and Older People: A Discussion Paper’.

We have an exceptional line-up of local and international speakers including:

  • Hector Minto:         Microsoft’s Accessibility Evangelist
  • David Banes:         International Assistive Technology Consultant
  • Stephen Cluskey: Co-founder, Mobility Mojo and Disability Advocate

The Assembly takes place at 9.00 am on Thursday 16th November 2017 in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin 4.

To book, please see here

#FreedomTech

Dublin Maker

Calendar date 22nd July

Dublin Maker is a free community run event on Saturday July 22nd in Merrion Square. Dublin Maker takes the form of a “show and tell” experience where inventors/makers sourced through an open call, will have an opportunity to showcase their creations in a carnival atmosphere. It is a family friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the maker movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making and share what they are learning http://www.dublinmaker.ie/makers-2017/

Enable Ireland’s Karl O’Keeffe and Sean Loughran want to promote the making of Assistive Technology solutions, particularly in the areas of creativity and leisure.

Projects that they intend to show are a RánBot, a Bodhrán that can be played using eye gaze technology. The Bodhrán is played using a combination of solenoids (beat rhythm on skin and rim) and car door actuators to regulate skin tension from the back of the drum).

They are also going to demo LOMI (Light Operated MIDI Interface) prototype. LOMI is an open hardware project designed and built by IADT Dun Laoghaire Creative Media Technologies student Rudolf Triebel. LOMI uses a head mounted laser pointer and an array of photoresistors connected to an Arduino Mega to generate MIDI. Rudolf has created an Instructable and it is their hope that others will build their own and progress the design.

Karl and Sean are also going to demo the Flipmouse and hopefully get contact details from makers willing to build a Flipmouse for people in their community. The Flipmouse is a computer access device that incorporates a low force joystick, sip&puff input as well as switch input. It is built from a kit supplied, designed and supported by the Assistive Technology group at the UAS Technikum Wien (Department of Embedded Systems) and funded by the City of Vienna ToRaDes project and AsTeRICS Academy project. The Flipmouse is a well-documented versatile computer access/gaming solution that costs one tenth of similar proprietary devices while offering much greater functionality.

Karl and Sean are going to present some challenges that people with disabilities have come to them with. A couple they are working on are, trying to increase the accessibility of Blind-Tennis using technology and giving blind bowlers the ability to hear their score read out to them.

Hope to see you there.

ATEC (Assistive Technology Exhibition and Conference) – London June 6th

ATEC written in front of a blue solid circle

This conference may be of interest,  it is aimed at disability professionals involved in post education and the workplace, ATEC is a one-day event that allows you to listen to and meet with experts, solution providers, and other like-minded people.

40 organizations from the world of assistive technology attending and 150 professionals from the workplace and post education.

  • Choose to attend 4 seminars from a range of 16, and gain a CPD certificate for each session attended.
  • Lunchtime speed dating sessions – 3 back-to-back 15-minute presentations.
    Two parallel panel debate sessions covering the themes of Education and the Workplace.
  • Network with disability professionals from post education and the workplace.
  • Two topical keynote speeches.
  • DSA (Disabled Students’ Allowance) update.

http://www.ateconference.com/

Microsoft backs Enable Ireland’s digital transformation

Dan Klein, Microsoft Ireland, with Christina McCarthy and Siobhan Long, Enable Ireland

Microsoft has donated a software package to Enable Ireland allowing the charity to move its operations to the cloud through Office 365 for its 1,200 staff and volunteers.

The announcement was made at the graduation ceremony for 17 students of the Foundations in Assistive Technology course, delivered by Enable Ireland and Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT).

Microsoft has supported the Assistive Technology course for 15 years, hosting training sessions at the company’s campus in Sandyford, Co Dublin and hosting fundraisers including an annual funding drive and volunteering to decorate local facilities.

A total of 365 participants have graduated from this course since 2001, including people with disabilities and their families, employers, educators and carers. The course trains people in the use of Assistive Technologies including desktops, tablets, smart phones and smart home devices as well as leisure pursuits such as gaming, music and photography.  The course is aimed at providing a solid foundation in AT for diverse audiences: adults who are AT users, therapists, teachers, IT professionals, families and others.

Siobhan Long, national manager, assistive technology training service, Enable Ireland, said: “Well done to the 17 fantastically talented individuals who have worked so hard and today graduated from the Foundations in Assistive Technology course. We recently conducted an assistive technology survey which showed that users overwhelming appreciated the difference that AT makes to their lives.

This national online Assistive Technology survey was undertaken as part of the research process which informs the recommendations made. A total of 236 Assistive Technology users responded to the survey. The findings dispel the widely-held belief that AT is expensive, with 64% of respondents indicating that they used technology costing less than €1,000. 41% of AT users reported that they had self-funded their own AT. Respondents were extremely positive on the perceived usefulness of their AT equipment with 61% reporting that they couldn’t manage without it. However, nearly 30% of respondents experienced frustration and delays in the process of securing their AT. Waiting times were also highly variable, with 54% reporting that they received their AT in three months. However, 15% had to wait over 6 months and 16% waited in excess of a year.

“For people with disabilities and older people, technology can change the most ordinary of
daily activities from the impossible to the possible. Assistive Technology can support people
to live to their fullest, to participate in education and employment and to live independently
and as part of their communities.” Senator John Dolan, CEO
Disability Federation of Ireland.

Dan Klein, Microsoft Ireland, said: “At Microsoft we believe it is critically important that we think about making technology accessible to all. Our collaboration with Enable Ireland has given our team an important window of insight into people’s needs and prompted new innovation… Enable Ireland does critically important work in moving the focus from the disability to the person – not least through its Assistive Technology course.”

Read more: http://www.techcentral.ie/oh991#ixzz4R1j0eQB9

Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities and Older People

Assistive technology for people with disabilities and older people paper

On November 7th last in Dublin, Enable Ireland and the Disability Federation in Ireland launched a Discussion Paper representing the views of a cross-sectoral stakeholder group convened through CHAT (Community Hub for Assistive Technology) which sets out a practical road map to improving the provision of Assistive Technology services and supports to people with disabilities and older people. Further details can be found here:

http://www.enableireland.ie/resources/news/enable-ireland-and-disability-federation-ireland-launch-discussion-paper-future

Currently, far too few people who could benefit from AT, have access to it here in Ireland, but with increasingly accessible mainstream solutions coupled with associated dramatic falls in cost, we believe that the remedy for this gap is more achievable than ever.

This report was published through a partnership between Enable Ireland and DFI, who share a concern regarding the under-resourcing of Assistive Technology nationally. Together, and in partnership with the CHAT community, and any other interested parties, we recognise an urgent need for advocacy and information campaigning in order to increase public awareness and understanding of the potential for AT to enhance quality of life and independence, as well as enhancing government’s awareness of their role in making AT available to those who need it.

Hear more on the launch from our ATandMe Podcast

http://www.atandme.com/?page_id=331

CALL Scotland webinars

Users hand on computer keyboard with webinar graphic in the foreground
Webinars are a convenient way to view live presentations that are delivered to your computer or tablet over the web. During a presentation as well as listening to the presenter you can view documents, programs and most importantly ask questions about the live presentation.
CALL Scotland are hosting a range of free assistive technology related webinars that look interesting.

Some Upcoming webinars

Widgit Software Apps for Supporting Language and Literacy
Wednesday, 04 May 2016

Creating Accessible Documents in Word
Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Exploring the Creativity iPad App Wheel
Wednesday, 18 May 2016

There are also a selection of archived videos of webinars
Click for more information

Upcoming Conferences

Here are two conferences coming up that look exciting and may be of interest

Create a more inclusive world RI Conference

RI World Congress

25–27 October 2O16, Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Scotland.

Speeches, seminars, workshops and other opportunities to tackle specific issues.

  • World of Work
  • Care and Independent Living
  • Education and Training
  • Ageing and Rehabilitation
  • Culture, Leisure & Sport
  • Accessibility and Inclusion
  • Disaster Management

For further information on the conference agenda, click here

Also

ATEC conference logo

ATEC2016

17th May, Oxford, UK.

ATEC showcases excellence in assistive technology that removes barriers to learning and work

Aimed at disability professionals involved in post 16 education and the work place, ATEC is a one-day event that allows you to listen to and meet with experts, solution providers and other likeminded people.

As well as the main conference seminars, there are 20 workshops to choose from.

For further information on the conference agenda, click here.

 

Foundations in AT

Enable Ireland’s National AT training Service deliver a “Foundations in AT” Course which is accredited by DIT. The objective of the course is to provide participants with the AT knowledge and skills that they require to support AT users. The course duration is 3 days face-to-face training in Microsoft, Dublin and an equivalent of 7 days on-line learning.
Course Dates: 9th February, 8th March, 12th April 2016.
We caught up with a number of graduates at the 2015 graduation in Microsoft and got their view of the course.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION or to reserve your place, please contact Shirley (sdeakin@enableireland.ie). Ph: (01) 2184100.

Call 3 now open for ASSISTID Fellows

Fellowships in Intellectual Disability and Autism

ASSISTID will train experienced researchers in the skills necessary to make a difference in the lives of people with autism and intellectual disability through improved communication, social inclusion and education.

This is the first time a network of multidisciplinary researchers have come together on this scale to develop assistive technologies for those with autism and ID and is a opportunity for researchers to advance their career through expert training and international mobility.

Deadline June 30th 2016
Interim Deadline February 29th 2016

For more information: Dr. Sheeona Gorman

Email: sgorman@respect.ie
Website: www.assistid.euFellowships in intellectual disability

The National Council for Special Education – 2015 Research Conference

NCSE Logo

The National Council for Special Education

is pleased to invite you to our

2015 Research Conference

Wednesday 25th November 2015

The Hogan Suite, Croke Park Conference Centre, Dublin

Key themes for this year’s conference are teacher education for inclusion and assistive technology.  The event will feature international speakers Professor Mel Ainscow, University of Manchester and Dr. Chris Abbott, Emeritus Reader in Assistive Technologies, King’s College London, as well as papers on NCSE commissioned research.

Please click on link below for further information and to submit an online booking form.

http://ncse.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/conference-notice-2015.gif

NB:  BOOKING FORMS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY 5 P.M. ON WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 11TH.