Today over forty delegates from around the West Midlands gathered at Hereward College for discussions on the use of assistive technology for students with physical disabilities. Hereward College is a general college of further education located in Coventry, West Midlands offering day and residential support for disabled students. Hereward students include people with:
- Physical disabilities including cerebral palsy, spina bifida and muscular dystrophy.
- Sensory impairment (sight & hearing)
- Learning difficulties.
- Brain and spinal injuries.
- Autism and Aspergers Syndrome.
- Medical difficulties including epilepsy, asthma and other rare conditions.
- Social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.
Hereward follows an academic and vocational curriculum designed to encourage students to act independently to prepare them for future employment and enterprise when their studies are complete.
Four students told the delegates about their experience of using assistive technology through a video interview. It was a fascinating insight for us all. Number one issue was that the assistive technology should assist and not get in the way of their expression. Secondly, it had to work reliably and thirdly it needed to look cool. Actually, none of these points are rocket science!
Many thanks to Paul Doyle and Patrick Fox for the invitation.