As the newest Assistive Technology Consultant to join the team at access: technology, I thought I should take the opportunity to introduce myself! My name is Lucy, and while I am new to the world of consultancy, I have been fortunate enough to work with assistive device users for several years now.
Professionally I come from a research and development background, previously working to manufacture medical devices for lower limb amputees. The technological advances in the industry never ceased to amaze me, and the manifestation of a person focused approach to innovation is certainly one that I wanted to be a part of. Engaging users with the development of the devices that would become such an integral part of their day to day lives was an incredible aspect to my role, and the element that sparked my interest to explore technology further afield.
A few years ago, I found an opportunity to work with a charity providing adaptive snow sport lessons and trips in the UK and overseas. As a keen skier, it linked two of my major interests, and introduced me to a new world of assistive devices. Both on the snow and off, I was always intrigued by the technology that clients were using, and the way that their devices were allowing them to navigate the world with independence and confidence. Working alongside different user groups, specialized seating and orthotic technicians, I started to build a picture of how users were interacting with a range of devices throughout their day. It was important to see how the flow of different low and high technology solutions in place worked out day-to-day. Understanding how implementing one solution impacts upon another became the clear key to providing the most seamless experience with any assistive devices.
As well as this, one of the biggest take-aways I have found from my short time with access: technology so far, is that some of the most effective solutions are well considered, but simple in execution. Magnetic and light up charging cables is the first that comes to mind. Elegant solutions to aspects of life that can seem too routine to even consider, can quickly become a huge boost towards an independent lifestyle. I have also loved seeing clients become so involved in their own tech, asking questions and taking such an interest in the way their devices are working. If this is the empowerment that AT users gain from their devices, then I am as eager as ever to share the potential with as many users as possible!
Over the next few weeks I’ll be absorbing as much information as I can surrounding all things assistive technology, and I’ll be posting again soon to share the journey!