Our Personalised Technology (PT) team has recently successfully applied for a grant of nearly £20,000 from the Gloucestershire Digital Innovation Fund.

Thanks to the grant, the team will be able to train other adult social care providers in the area to harness the power of technology and use it to support people to live more independently.

This year’s Sector Pulse Check report revealed that the biggest barriers to providers using assistive technology were financial issues, with 75% of providers reporting a lack of funds for technology, and a lack of awareness (reported by 59% of providers).  Working in collaboration with Gloucester County Council and the Adult single programme, and setting out to overcome these challenges, our PT team will now be able to provide vital training to providers in Gloucestershire, helping them to use technology to empower people they support.

The team will be working with ten local providers, reaching up to 100 members of social care staff in total. Training will focus on the types of technology available and the outcomes it can deliver, with a focus on cost efficient low-tech solutions, and case studies and demonstrations available to bring the technology to life. Providers will be loaned a box of low-tech equipment suited to their setting and will also have the chance to work with our assistive technology experts to develop a PT action plan bespoke to their service. The training also features a follow-up programme, where providers can review their progress and receive further support and advice on implementing their plans.

Lisa Hunt, Personalised Technology Coordinator, said:

“We’re thrilled to have received a grant that will allow us to increase awareness of the potential that personalised technology has to enhance the lives of people with learning disabilities. The coronavirus pandemic has really demonstrated the importance of technology, with all of us leaning on it more than ever to stay connected. For many people with learning disabilities, it has become an absolutely essential tool in reducing isolation, keeping safe and supporting with social distancing and self-isolation.

“Whether it’s a one cup kettle that allows someone to make their own hot drink safely, smart sockets and switches that enable people to control their lights, or talking tiles that allow someone to communicate their needs, we’re really looking forward to equipping more providers with the technology and knowledge to aid them to realise the potential of personalised technology, and ultimately seeing them use it to enhance their service provision.”

If you have any queries about personalised technology, contact the team at personalisedtechnology@hft.org.uk