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Assistive Technology (AT) Forum News Bulletin No. 13 October 2004

News Bulletin: The Bulletin is provided as a resource for AT Forum members and to highlight issues affecting AT provision for a wider audience.  If you wish to find out more about the work of the AT Forum, go to www.fastuk.org/atforum.php. Let us know of any colleagues who would like to receive the bulletin.

You are registered to receive the bulletin, if you have any suggestions about content or format or wish to unsubscribe please email: atforum@fastuk.org.

1.

Report on Specialist Equipment Services

2.

Using Direct Payments for Community Equipment

3.

Audit Commission Report on Implementing Telecare

4.

MHRA Device Evaluation Service Annual Report

5.

Policy Framework for "Choose & Book"

6.

Part 3 of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) Comes into Effect

7.

DH Website Speech Enabled

8.

National Service Framework (NSF) for Children, Young People and Maternity services

9.

Common Assessment Framework for Children in Need

10.

Information Booklet for Disabled Parents

11.

Report on Independent Living in Later Life

12.

Growth in Specialist Stroke Units

13.

Report on Social Care Regulation

14.

Strategic Agreement between the Department of Health, the NHS and the Voluntary   and Community Sector

15.

Manifesto for People with Long-term Conditions

1.

Report on Specialist Equipment Services

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For many disabled people, assistive technology is crucial to their ability to choose how they want to live and whether they can live independently.  Technological support comes in many forms - it can be as simple as a tap turner, or as complex as an environmental control system.  While many disabled people are already using these technologies successfully, some people have very complex needs, which are not met by the current equipment or service models.

A new discussion document produced by the Royal College of Physicians and the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine emphasises the importance of multi-professional input to customise the equipment, design individual bespoke solutions and to safely integrate different kinds of equipment.  

The document focuses on four key areas of assistive technology - communication aids, computer access, environmental control systems and telecare.  It includes specific examples to show that designing the technology around specific needs can have life-enhancing effects.

"Specialist Equipment Services for Disabled People:  The Need for Change" makes eight key recommendations in four areas to improve access to specialist equipment and professional expertise:

Access and assessment

Specialist equipment services for disabled people should be widely and equitably available

Complex need and the integration of disparate technologies should be overseen by specialist equipment services

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