Hft | Stories and case studies | Being Heard - Sarah

Being Heard – Sarah

Personalised technology helps Sarah to be understood and to make decisions for herself.

I want to be heard

For Sarah, choosing what her room looks like – and being part of decorating it – is important. The recent make-over of the Hft service in Evesham where she lives gave her that chance.

The eight people living there all have profound and multiple disabilities and were involved in choosing new floors, tiles and colours. They have also been shopping to buy pictures and plants to make it feel more like their space.

The Evesham service was involved in an Hft pilot to enable people who cannot communicate verbally to express their choices and make decisions for themselves using Personalised Technology.

Finding ways to really listen and understand what people with learning disabilities want, whether through verbal or non-verbal communication, is vital to Hft – and new technology is helping to make a big difference.

“Talking blocks” record messages so people can now ask for things like a snack or drink; big button switches mean they can turn on their own TV when they want and call for help when they need it. Sarah has so far tried an eye gaze communicator and a touch screen computer in the quest to find the best bit of kit to help her be understood and live the life she chooses.

Sarah also takes part in an Hft regional discussion forum where people share their views on issues like housing, communication and training.