Sight and Sound partners with FreedomTech to improve AT landscape

Sight and Sound
L-R: Stuart Lawler, Sight and Sound Technology Ireland; Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor and Joan O'Donnell, FreedomTech.

Just 10% of those that require assistive technology have access to it

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21 October 2019 | 0

Assistive technology (AT) provider, Sight and Sound Technology Ireland have entered into a three-year partnership with non-profit FreedomTech, which is a collaboration between the Disability Federation of Ireland and Enable Ireland.

As part of the venture, the duo will work to improve the AT landscape for people with disabilities and to level the playing field for disabled students in higher education and beyond.

Just 10% of those that require AT have access to it. In an attempt to counter this, FreedomTech created CHAT (Community Hub for Accessible Technology); a 200-strong user-focused space where people learn from one another and identify gaps and challenges in AT. CHAT is open to end users, developers, academics, therapists, service providers and healthcare professionals.

 “The right piece of assistive technology can have a hugely positive impact on an individual but as life changes, so does the way in which technology is used, so we pride ourselves on being able to respond proactively to these changing circumstances and in being there to provide lifelong support,” said Stuart Lawler, business development manager, Sight and Sound Technology Ireland.

“We’re excited to partner with FreedomTech and the CHAT community to better understand the needs of Irish assistive technology users and to ultimately streamline the experience of assistive technology users and make their lives and choices significantly simpler.”

According to Joan O’Donnell, project manager at FreedomTech, assistive technology can transform the life of a person with a disability. “AT allows someone with sight loss to learn successfully alongside their sighted peers by converting standard print to large print, audio or Braille, or provides reading support tools for students with dyslexia, for example.

“However, for assistive technology to have this positive impact, a coherent approach to how people access it and the support they receive in choosing and using the right piece of technology for their stage in life is needed.”

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