Hft Personalised Technology Conference

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Pierce Richardson DFI Assistive Technology Development Officer attended a Personalised Technology Conference. Hosted by national learning disability charity, Hft, the annual Personalised Technology (PT) conference took place at Anfield, Liverpool October 2015 exploring the use of technology to improve health and wellbeing for people with learning disabilities in which Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal was the keynote speaker.

The conference focused on how technology can be used as a tool for people with learning disabilities, and those who support them, to monitor their own health and wellbeing, playing a role in the prevention, detection and early intervention of illness.

The conference drew together representatives from across the health and social care sector in the UK, including commissioners, professionals, manufacturers of technology, clinicians and service providers.

The other Key speaker was Professor Klaus Miesenberger from the University of Linz who spoke about the importance of universal design and accessibility.

Princess Ann greets DFI worker Pierce Richardson in Liverpool   Princess Ann meets DFI worker Pierce Richardson in Liverpool

What was interesting from an Irish perspective was even though there is a different health and social care system in the UK we share some common issues. Namely the pressure of having to do more with less. Other issues faced is how to get the importance of assistive technology recognised by regulators. What are the barriers of using technology in a particular services? This sparked very interesting discussions ranging from looking for a capital investment for assistive technology (AT) to having AT added to the personalised budgets. The consensuses is that the use of AT offers excellent opportunity to move away from how people are traditionally supported. However the use of AT in this way requires a cultural shift by regulators.

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