We all know that new technology has the potential to positively change the lives of disabled people but there are many barriers to this such as lack of awareness, information, advice, money, etc. As the personalisation agenda increases and budgets within the statutory services become tighter, disabled people will increasingly be left to the own devices to find equipment solutions for themselves.
I am OT with 30 years experience in the field of physical disability (in the NHS) and during my career I have worked with a number of organisations that have set out to harness the benefits new technology can offer to disabled people. My own personal experience of living with a physical impairment from birth has given me an added appreciation of the importance of assistive devices and I am the first to reject something that looks clinical even if it is practical! I want attractive design as well as usefulness. As I now face the problems of ageing alongside my impairment, my need for independent living equipment is increasing so I know from recent experience how challenging finding the right product can be. The Internet can be a great tool but we all know the disability equipment industry is one where variable quality abounds, so personal recommendations and reviews are invaluable. The concept behind Really Useful Stuff has been needed for years and although it is in its early stages you can already see its amazing potential.
Haven’t you ever found a great piece of equipment for someone and wanted to share the news with other clients and your fellow OT’s? I know I have. The Really Useful Stuff website gives both professionals and end users that capability so it can reach and benefit enormous numbers of people.
I will be on the Really Useful Stuff stand (P54) on Wednesday 27th November so please come along and talk to me about how the company can help you in your work?
Ann Stead, SROT, MA, OBE.