- Telecare installation workforce needs more education and training
More training and education is needed to support the workforce responsible for the installation of assisted living services, according to a new report published by the Foundation for Assistive Technology (FAST). With the support of significant government funding, assisted living services - telecare and telehealth – are entering a period of rapid innovation and growth. There are a range of both technical and person-centred competences that the workforce will require to keep pace with future development. More details here.
- Latest news from i2Web project
A consortium of researchers and user organisations from across Europe, which includes FAST, is investigating the accessibility of Web 2.0 applications for disabled and older people. The group will then create new tools to help developers produce applications that are more accessible to these groups. Latest details of the work are here.
- New training and briefing materials to equip older people for active aging
FAST has launched a suite of learning materials to enable people to stay active and independent as they get older, through choosing and using equipment. The materials can be used by community and voluntary groups to raise awareness about what is available and how to get hold of it. More details of the resources can be found here and the press release is available here.
- New guide to AT technology and equipment for people with early symptoms of dementia
FAST has worked with Innovations in Dementia and Trent DSDC to launch a new free booklet aimed at helping friends and family understand how AT can support the independence and safety of people with dementia. Getting Equipped to Tackle Forgetfulness is available as a download here and there is more information on the project here.
- FAST survey finds barriers to user involvement in AT development
A recent survey by FAST has found that involving users in the assistive technology (AT) research and development process is widely recognised as crucial, but that there remain a number of barriers to doing so succcessfully. While the vast majority of those polled saw user involvement as important in setting research priorities, during the design process and in the evaluation phase, over a third of respondents reported difficulties in finding and involving users in research work. The challenges included identifying appropriate people to recruit, dealing with ethics approvals and managing user participation.
Full details of the survey's findings are here. Technology for All is FAST's programme to enable more disabled and older people to participate in the development of new technology. Read more via this link.
- Guardian article on telecare and self-funding
FAST's Director Keren Down discusses the importance of developing a national framework for accredited training and qualifications for telecare and telehealth support staff in an article published in the Guardian on September 9th 2009. The article makes the case for greater use of personalised budgets to fund telecare services, and looks at current procurement patterns. Read the full text via this link.
- FAST reflections on TCES approach to workforce accrediation and recent CEDAB response
With the recent flurry of press releases from TCES and CEDAB we are seeing the consequences of the Department’s decision to restrict the TCES approach to accrediation to a 'top-down' tinkering rather than a proper review. Those organisations that have been encouraged to invest in developing an approach to retailer accreditation appear to have been judged not to have met TCES’ poorly articulated outcomes. That this decision was announced in the form of a public snub to CEDAB raises questions about TCES’ commitment to seeing the initiative through to a successful conclusion and this is confirmed by the TCES team's decision not to recommend a credible alternative accreditation approach. Full response here.
- FAST director Keren Down awarded MBE
FAST's director Keren Down was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List announced on 13th June. 'I'm delighted to receive this honour, which is a recognition of just how important assistive technology is in all our lives in order to make our society more inclusive for older and disabled people,' Ms Down stated. Full details here.
- FAST highlights new service opportunities in telecare and telehealth
Speaking at Building Research Establishment Insite 09 conference on 3rd June, FAST's director Keren Down emphasised that there will be new business opportunities once private consumers start buying telecare and telehealth services which could prove attractive to industry, third sector and social enterprise organisations. View slide presentation here [6.1mb].