Communication and Inclusiveness
People with intellectual disability and autism often have difficulties communicating verbally. The Assistive Technology is trialing the use of the ‘Big Mac Switch’ which allows non-verbal users to hit the switch to play pre-recorded messages from family at appropriate moments during interactions. This gives these users back their voice and the ability to communicate in conversations. Early results look promising. See how the ‘Big Mack’ Switch helps Jackie communicate.
Active Participation in Activities
Eye Gaze control is a technology which allows people with limited mobility or verbal skills to control their environment and communications by tracking and moving objects with their eye gaze on a computer screen. This technology also allows people of all ages to play computer games and express their creativity through various computer programmes allowing inclusion with their parents, teachers and friends as Ellie demonstrates in the short video below.
Technology can be used to enhance people’s homes and allow them to live independently in community or home-based environments. SmartHomes have a range of sensors installed to control automatic lighting and temperature based on room occupancy. See how Fidelma can now pour herself a cup of tea – something she couldn’t do herself until recently. Audio prompting devices may be used to assist people to complete a task or to follow a certain sequence of steps from start to finish in such activities as making a bed, locking the front door or taking medication.
Participating in Social Activities
Active participation in social activities, for example through art, music and games, is a crucial way for people with intellectual disability and autism to express themselves, develop friendships and build self-esteem. See how Lizzie can read a book for the first time.