When implementing assistive technology, it’s critical to consider both the job at hand and the employee’s needs. After that, you can decide whether a specific assistive technology device is required and which kind of technology might help the employee thriive.
There are currently 1.5 million adults in the UK with a learning disability, which could mean those individuals are struggling to find employment. For neurodiverse people with conditions such as autism, dyslexia, and ADHD, there are also excellent AT tools available in the twenty-first century.
The majority of computer and device operating systems, including those from Google, Apple, and Microsoft, are accessible with technology such as screen readers, voice-to-text conversion, and speech recognition that enables general computer navigation.
For many employees and adults, learning how to use and install all these technology tools successfully continues to be their biggest challenge, which is why you need to find the best assistive technology service providers in order to integrate your new tech effectively.
This guide will explain how to choose assistive technologies and what to look for in a great assistive technology service provider.
What is assistive technology?
With the aid of assistive technology, people with disabilities can carry out tasks that might otherwise feel challenging or unattainable. Mobility aids like walkers and scooters, as well as equipment, software, and accessories that make it easier for people to use computers and other information technologies, can all be considered forms of assistive technology.
For example, individuals with restricted hand function may use a keyboard with broad keys or a particular mouse to operate a computer, people who are blind may use applications that reads text on the screen in a computer-generated voice, individuals with low vision may use software that increases screen content.
For neurodiverse employees, the right assistive technology provider will enable their superpower to shine.
From software that helps them remember upcoming tasks, to tools that make it easier for them to focus and create a more comfortable working environment, the right AT can empower your staff to be who they are – and help everyone thriive in the process.
Selecting assistive technology
Devices used to help a person accomplish a task include those that use assistive technology (AT). Greater independence, comfort, protection, and inclusion may be made possible.
AT can be utilised in everyday activities such as tasks at work or in the classroom. For instance, AT can take many different forms, such as a modified game controller for playing games or an eye gaze device for operating a computer.
It can be difficult to choose the most effective adaptive technology because there are so many different things to take into account. The success of the technology depends on finding the appropriate technology for the user.
There are many products available today that are both universally designed and especially made for assistive technology. To find the best solution, it is important to carefully consider the person at the centre of the challenge along with the characteristics of the surroundings, the person, and the technology itself.
For example, does the individual need specialised computer technology to aid them with their work? Or communication aids to assist with communicating with colleagues?
Where to start
Become more knowledgeable about the subject. Talking to people who may face comparable difficulties to learn how they have surmounted their obstacles, as well as users who have equipment installed, can provide useful information. What have they found helpful, and what equipment problems, if any, do they have?
By finding out what works and what doesn’t in your workplace you have a better idea of the best suited electronic assistive technology service for your company.
Ask for advice
Consult those who are familiar with the area for assistance. Healthcare professionals, an assistive technology agency, or a disability service may be able to help. It is ideal to choose AT with the assistance of a skilled AT contact person or occupational therapist. Every step of the decision-making process will involve the individual, as well as any relevant people like family, co-workers, or instructors.
They can help the user take into account all the important aspects of their capabilities, preferences, the setting in which the technology will be used, and the features of the technology. They might also be able to organise equipment trials or training sessions for particular inclusive technology to help with the learning process.
Workplace Needs Assessment
Workplace Needs Assessments are unbiased assessments completed at work to identify answers to issues that a worker with a disability faces in their position. These remedies might consist of tailored assistance, assistive technology, or alterations to the surroundings which could assist individuals with disabilities or neurodiversities.
A therapist with the appropriate training, such as a physiotherapist or occupational therapist, can perform a workplace needs assessment. The assessor will collaborate with the employee’s employer to find possible remedies for any problems at work.
These evaluations will consider the individual’s particular needs, the work environment, and the job position. After the evaluation is finished, a report will be generated outlining the results and any suggestions for workplace modifications, enabling employers to make the required changes.
Some assistive technology providers can offer these Workplace Needs Assessments and therefore advise or describe products which could be beneficial for any employees with a disability, whether that be an arrangement for someone with restricted mobility or alternative communication devices for those hard of hearing.
An assessment is crucial if you want to find the right assistive technologies for your employees.
What makes a great assistive technology provider?
Choosing the right provider for your assistive technology is crucial. Look for companies that have a knowledgeable team with experience in the field, who can provide real-life assistance and guidance on AT usage.
A great AT provider – like Thriiver – will be passionate about assisting a diverse range of people with their accessibility needs. They can provide company specific advice, offering tailor-made services for the workplace and its employees, alongside assistive tech training and ongoing technical support to help users get started with ease.
In addition to having a knowledgeable team, look for providers who offer high quality assistive software and hardware. This means they are regularly updated in order to keep up with the latest advancements in assistive technology, they provide warranty coverage options, and they are compliant with applicable standards.
Lastly, look for providers who are customer-focused and dedicated to giving the best possible service. Finding a provider like this will ensure that you receive the highest quality of assistive technology services for your company’s needs.
At Thriiver, we provide all these qualities and more. We believe that everyone should have the same access to technology, regardless of ability. We focus on making inclusive technologies more accessible and providing the best possible service to our customers.
Let us help you find the right AT solution for your workplace. Contact us today!
Looking for an expert assistive technology provider?
Workplace Needs Assessments and Assistive Technology Training are our area of expertise at Thriiver, and we can offer you the qualified assistance you require. We have a group of knowledgeable and seasoned assessors available to assist you in increasing workplace productivity and enhancing employee wellbeing.
If you think a Workplace Needs Assessment could help you, please Book an Assessment Today or get in touch with us if you have any questions!
Assistive technology service providers FAQs
What is an assistive technology provider?
An Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) is a licensed service provider who evaluates the requirements of clients with disabilities and other impairments, helps them choose the best assistive technology for their needs, and trains them on how to use the devices they have chosen.
What is an example of an assistive technology service?
For those with poor vision, specialised software that magnifies the screen, alternative keyboards and input devices, and voice recognition are a few examples.
Who benefits from assistive technology?
People who struggle with speaking, typing, writing, recalling, pointing, seeing, hearing, learning, walking, and many other tasks can benefit from assistive technology. Different assistive tools are needed for various disabilities and neurodiversities.