Assistive Technology: form, function and emotional response


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Assistive Technology: form, function and emotional response

  1. 1. www blog: twitter: Assistive Technology: form, function and emotional response
  2. 2. My name’s Denise… www blog: twitter: Hello! <ul><li>Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosed in 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>MS is a neurological condition that’s unpredictable, variable and different in each case </li></ul><ul><li>My symptoms include: fatigue, weakness, numbness, visual disturbance, poor balance and vertigo </li></ul><ul><li>Use a wide range of assistive technology to make day-to-day tasks more manageable </li></ul>
  3. 3. But what is Assistive Technology? www blog: twitter: <ul><li>Assistive Technology (AT) is any product or service designed to enable independence for disabled and older people </li></ul><ul><li>(Source: user group consultation at the King’s fund in 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>This term is useful for those in the know, but unfortunately not everyone understands what it means </li></ul><ul><li>Technology doesn’t have to be complex </li></ul>AT
  4. 4. A few examples… www blog: twitter:
  5. 5. www blog: twitter: Ikea The battle of the bland… <ul><li>Ugly, clinical looking AT = DEPRESSING </li></ul><ul><li>Grateful for fact helped me to keep independence </li></ul><ul><li>Frustrated as home looked more and more like a hospital </li></ul><ul><li>Surely this CAN’T be the way it has to be… </li></ul><ul><li>Looked for alternative mainstream products that did same job </li></ul><ul><li>Very aware of fact people benefit from learning, as well as support of others with similar experiences </li></ul>
  6. 6. Doing my little bit… www blog: twitter: <ul><li>From experiences and learning, decided to set up </li></ul><ul><li>online community </li></ul><ul><li>Platform to share experiences and views on AT </li></ul><ul><li>Raising awareness of need to improve both functionality and aesthetics </li></ul><ul><li>Result was Enabled by Design: </li></ul><ul><li>A community of people passionate about those well designed products that make day-to-day tasks that little bit easier. By sharing their loves, hates and ideas, Enabled by Design-ers challenge the one-size-fits-all approach to assistive equipment through the use of clever modern design. </li></ul>Twitter
  7. 7. www blog: twitter:
  8. 8. www blog: twitter: And now for the psychology bit… How does AT make you feel?
  9. 9. And now for the psychology bit cont’d… www blog: twitter: <ul><li>Not everyone feels this way </li></ul><ul><li>Some people don’t care what it looks like, as long as it does the job </li></ul><ul><li>But for those that do, these feelings provide barrier to using AT </li></ul><ul><li>Not using AT when needed can resullt in lower standard of living/level of safety </li></ul><ul><li>Using AT but feeling this way can lower self-esteem and emotional well-being </li></ul><ul><li>Use of AT often marks change in circumstances </li></ul><ul><li>Being surrounded by AT can be a constant reminder of this </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Change perceptions of AT by mainstreaming </li></ul><ul><li>products to “normalise” them through </li></ul><ul><li>universal/inclusive design </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on products/gadgets that help to </li></ul><ul><li>make life easier, rather than AT. Language is </li></ul><ul><li>important! </li></ul><ul><li>Although functionality is paramount, form and </li></ul><ul><li>aesthetics are important too! </li></ul><ul><li>Transforming AT into must-have desirable objects will help to remove stigma </li></ul><ul><li>Above points important, but mustn’t lose sight that choice, quality and value for money must be high on agenda </li></ul>www blog: twitter: So what’s the answer? OXO
  11. 11. Any questions? Thank you for listening!  www blog: twitter:
  12. 12. You can contact me here: [email_address] @enabledby www blog: twitter: