Assistive Technology in the Workplace
Wednesday, 8th July 2020
The WAM programme at AHEAD are running a free training webinar aimed at current WAM employers and potential WAM employers.
When: August 12th 2020 from 11.30am - 1.00pm.
The WAM programme is the transition to employment initiative of AHEAD. It offers graduates with disabilities the benefit of a 6 month minimum fully paid and mentored work internships with high profile employers. WAM was established in 2005 and, to date, have placed over 470 graduates with both private and public sector employers.
Technology is everywhere in modern work and study life. With regard to people with disabilities, Assistive Technology has changed the face of both employment and education for many employees and students; levelling up the playing field and enabling them to realise their true potential.
What is Assistive Technology (AT)?
AT is a term used to describe all of the tools, products, and devices that can make a particular function easier or possible to perform. AT can be as simple as a magnifying glass for someone with a visual impairment, as everyday as a smartphone calendar app helping those with specific learning difficulties plan their study, or as complex as eye tracking technology which enables those with significant mobility impairments to use a computer.
For employers, providing the appropriate AT for employees in the format that best suits their needs and abilities is vital. Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015 clearly outline the obligation of employers to provide reasonable accommodations; adaptations to the workplace which allow people with disabilities to work on an equal footing as their co-workers. This, of course, includes the provision of AT for those who require it.
The purpose of this webinar is to provide information and best practices in relation to AT; how to best ensure good support channels and successful engagement for all parties involved with AT in the workplace.
This webinar will include:
- Assistive Technology defined and described.
- Assistive Technology in an Irish context. What are the biggest issues in relation to AT?
- A firsthand account from a WAM graduate about their experience of using AT in the workplace.
- Top 10 Tips in relation to Assistive Technology, which will include demos of select recommended devices
Siobhán Long - National Manager, Assistive Technology Training and SeatTech Services at Enable Ireland
Siobhán has worked in the field of Assistive technology since 1991. Siobhán's current role involves management of Enable Ireland's National Assistive Technology Training and SeatTech Services. Siobhán works with two teams of highly skilled individuals who strive to deliver innovative, person-centred AT and custom seating solutions to a wide range of individuals with differing abilities and needs. Technology is changing rapidly and the goal is to ensure that those who can benefit from what it has to offer, can gain access to it in a timely manner. Another goal of Enable Ireland's AT and SeatTech services is to influence the development of future technologies. Partnering with AT users to advocate for better assistive technology services, solutions, and support, is a key objective for our service.
In 2016, Siobhán began a partnership with the Disability Federation of Ireland, resulting in the publication of Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities and Older People: A Discussion Paper. Since then she has been working intensively on an advocacy and lobbying programme to promote the adoption of the recommendations contained in the Discussion Paper. Chief among these are the establishment of a national AT Passport to address the significant gaps in service provision as AT users transition through life.
Áine Lennon - WAM Graduate
Trevor Boland - Digital Media and eLearning Officer at AHEAD
Trevor Boland is a recent addition to the AHEAD Team and is the Digital and eLearning Officer. He has been working in the disability sector for 16 years across many levels of Education.
He worked as an Assistive Technology Officer in an Irish University Disability Service for 7 of those years as well as being a Special Needs Assistant (SNA) in both Primary and Secondary Schools. Along with this, he has been a Lecturer for 2 years in the ACCESS Programme in TU Dublin and has worked in the Youth Arts sector part-time for many years.
Past projects involved collaborating with students to create an online learning resources, the creation of apps to support the orientation experience of new students to Higher Education and facilitating training session for staff and students around the use of Inclusive Technology. Striving to create inclusive teaching and work environments are my mission.
WAM Programme Officer, Rachel Moiselle, will be chairing the event, and after the presentations there will be time allocated for a Q&A panel.