Earlier this week we hosted this year's Enable Ireland National High-Tech Assistive Technlogy (AT) course graduation. There were over forty graduates conferred by Dr. Frank McMahon from Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and Senator David Norris, who was the guest of honour at the event.
The demand for the Enable Ireland AT course continues to grow - this was the first year there were two courses held - which is just as well given that research suggests that 70% of AT is discarded due to a lack of training or support.
The AT course provides in-depth knowledge of AT which the graduates can share and bring the benefits to a much wider community - ensuring that people get the full benefit of AT.
As part of their course, each graduate has completed a research project into AT and these projects add to the body of knowledge on how AT can be used to help people enjoy independence. This year there were a wide array of projects from using voice activated software to the use of USB keys and PowerPoint to assist in non-verbal communication.
As mentioned previously, Senator David Norris was the guest of honour, and he did a fantastic job, bringing humour, humility and passion to the proceedings. I note Senator Norris has a blog here.
Special mention should go to Siobhan Long and the team at Enable Ireland who drive this activity and bring the benefit of AT to more and more people around Ireland.
DIT also deserve great credit for continuing to work closely with Enable Ireland not just on this course, but on bringing valuable AT knowledge to their design and engineering students - this can only be good news for the design of technology in the future.