Assistive technology or AT can be anything from a communication device to any other aid, from wheelchair to modified cutlery, can be off-the-shelf or home made. Also AT can be useful for other people, not necessarily ‘disabled’.
AT Chat, a great online initiative out of WA which has just been funded to go national, is also interested in AT for carers’ wellbeing, safety and time and medication management. AT Chat is designed for people who use AT by people who use AT. One of AT Chat’s team, Jos Franciscus, uses an electric wheelchair, and found putting the word out to get suggestions from the AT Chat community made her recent trip to Japan infinitely easier.
“The suggestions were lifesavers, especially in older areas of Japan,” says Jos Franciscus, “I was told how to dismantle the wheelchair when flying and to definitely take a roll-up ramp – which was indispensible in older parts where they love their stairs,” said Jos.
A staged national rollout is planned by AT Chat which is linking with disability advocates and service providers to make sure the resources and community conversations on AT Chat are representative of a wide range of people.
With different disabilities, AT Chat team members all bring understanding and different perspectives to giving people information, choice, ownership and control of their use of AT and to normalise its use . The very contemporary site will guide you through social media, educational sessions, chat room, podcasts, and toolkits. Find AT Chat at https://ilc.com.au/at_chat/ and on Facebook or Instagram @atchatwithus or watch an introduction to AT Chat here https://bit.ly/2pcQj4h