A Welcome Event was held for the first group of ASSISTID Researchers at the Daughters of Charity campus at St Joseph’s Centre, Clonsilla. Sr Zoe Killeen, Director of RESPECT, extended a warm welcome to the researchers and wished them well as they embarked on their research.

To date there is very little investment in Intellectual Disability (ID) or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) research, and in particular in Assistive Technologies (AT), so the new ASSISTID researchers are in the unique position of working on much needed research in this area.

Mr Enda Dodd, CEO of Animated language Learning presented their unique language learning tool for children with severe language delays. This was a very personal story for Enda as he has 2 sons, Conor and Owen who were born with severe disabilities and had no speech. Enda and his wife Val brought together a multinational team which includes Disney and Adobe to develop a tool to teach language and communication skills to children with challenges in this area. Find out more about Animated Language Learning intervention at www.animatedlanguagelearning.com

Finally, the new ASSISTID researchers introduced their projects by way of a 5 minute overview. It was clear from these presentations that the ASSISTID Fellows have the potential to make an impact and build the much needed evidence base to inform health and social services and policy makers. We wish them well with their research, look forward to benefitting from their expertise, and hope that they will share their knowledge, raise awareness of AT for PwID/ASD and become the future leaders in ID and ASD research and service provision.