Saturday, April 29, 2017
Frontline Issue 94
frontline 94


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by Stephen Kealy

Stephen Kealy

It is always interesting and enjoyable to watch youngsters use electronic equipment with such ease, with no inhibition in finding out how a particular piece of hardware (with its accompanying software) works—maybe with lots of trial and error, but focused on achieving their goal. Children as young as 18 months are enthralled by a single switch operation on an iPad or other electronic devices. Looking at students at a university lecture highlights the ubiquitous importance of the laptop. Many National Schools have multimedia available in the classroom and many pupils have access to iPads or laptops...

Phillip Moorcraft and Tim Riegman write about an innovative acoustic monitoring system that enhances the lives of intellectually disabled residents by improving care and respecting privacy.

Acoustic monitoring can provide a great opportunity to improve the quality of care for people with an intellectual disability. An acoustic monitoring system non-intrusively listens to sleeping residents and triggers an alarm when the sound level in a room exceeds individually set thresholds. Staff monitoring the system only listen into the room once an alarm has been triggered...

Siobhán Kane, Communications & Information Manager

Data released by the HSE shows waiting lists of over two years in some areas for therapy services such as occupational or speech and language therapy. Approximately 2090 children are waiting at least twelve months for occupational therapy...

The Assistive Technology Team, Daughters of Charity, Dublin (DOC AT Team) have put together a Guidebook for better access for people with intellectual disabilities. The guidebook was initially put together to help individuals who were moving from congregated settings into homes in their community. As it evolved, it became apparent that the guidebook would be useful to anyone in their existing home or when looking for a new home...

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Joanne Hayes, Social Worker, Home Share Clare, on the need for respite highlighted at the NHSN Conference

The need for respite is regarded as a necessity and a crucial component in the provision of support to people with disabilities and their families. The word ‘respite’ has many connotations; it is generally understood to be an opportunity for the main carer to take a break or have a holiday. However, respite also provides positive opportunities to children, young people and adults with disabilities to make new friends and enjoy relationships outside of their immediate family circle...

Eoin O’Herlihy explores thinking beyond disability access, especially when conducting access audits, designing buildings, and making services accessible, usable and welcoming to everyone. Eoin provides some everyday examples of good practice whilst highlighting the benefits of a rounded approach towards making services accessible for all.

The majority of people coming to use buildings or environments are visiting to use a particular service or engage in a specific activity, such as taking out a book or using computers in a library, exercising in a gym, participating in an arts event, paying for motor tax in a public building, attending court, attending school or playing in a park or playground...

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Eimir McGrath on a Seminar by Dr Alan Corbett, Teachers’ Club, Parnell Square, Dublin 1, 30 November 2013—hosted by Disability Psychotherapy Ireland

Psychotherapy for people with intellectual disabilities is an area of clinical practice that sadly is often overlooked. Specialist training is very difficult to access in Ireland, so the one-day seminar, Sitting at the Edge of Intelligence, was an extremely valuable opportunity to hear expert in the field, Dr Alan Corbett, speak of the key issues that need to be considered when working therapeutically with people with intellectual disabilities...

Alan Corbett weighs up the pros and cons for assistive technology.

Assistive technology is a growing industry, with a wide range of tools being developed to help people with disabilities process and communicate spoken language. As this issue of Frontline demonstrates, there is much to be excited about in this wave of technological innovation...

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Mary de Paor digests a seminar held in Dublin explaining the Assisted Decision-Making Bill, 2013

An informative seminar on the Assisted Decision-making (Capacity) Bill 2013, was held on 6 February in the offices of the European Parliament Information Office in Dublin, organised by Inclusion Ireland, Leap and the Centre for Disability Law and Policy of NUI Galway. It was presented by Dr Eilionóir Flynn of the NUIG Centre...

Dr John Dinsmore, Centre for Practice and Healthcare Innovation, Trinity College Dublin, explains that researchers and technology developers will maximise and refine better assistive technology (AT) use

‘Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.’ These words from Steve Jobs have echoed as my mantra to creating new ‘assistive technologies’ from research since the moment I picked up my first iPod in 2002 and wanted to understand why this technology and the iPhone and iPad that followed have been so groundbreaking, that globally they been adopted into mainstream life.