24 February 2021: Assistive Technology Australia’s (ATA) Pop-Up Clinic returned to the University of Canberra yesterday, allowing the community to access support for their assistive technology needs.
Assistive technology is any device, system or design used by individuals to perform tasks that might otherwise be difficult or impossible, from simple household items like a jar opener, to more complex items like pressure care mattresses that prevent pressure sores.
Assistive technology is vital for thousands of older residents and people with a disability, with ATA offering impartial advice on the products available.
After the ACT Independent Living Centre closed some years ago, people with a disability, seniors, carers and occupational therapists have been calling for access to independent assistive technology advice close to home.
The University has partnered with ATA to have regular outreach in Canberra via the pop-up clinics at the Health Hub on the Bruce campus.
Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health, Professor Michelle Lincoln says there is a current gap in access to impartial advice and information on assistive technologies in the ACT.
“The University of Canberra is pleased to have the ability to help in this space – it’s our role as a civic university,” Professor Lincoln said.
“Partnering with Assistive Technology Australia gives our students exposure to assistive technologies and the ability to work with experts in this field. We are excited about the strong research, education and service delivery potential that comes with such a partnership.”
ATA CEO, Robyn Chapman says the service providing impartial, independent advice gives greater choice to seniors and people with a disability, ensuring the best fit for each individual.
“Our presence in the ACT is thanks to our partnership with the University of Canberra. We’re grateful to the University for supporting us in hosting these pop-up clinics, which will hopefully pave the way for the development of a permanent Assistive Technology Australia centre for the nation’s capital," Ms Chapman said.
"Assistive technologies are important for our current and future health care services. These technologies prevent early admission to care, facilitate earlier discharge from acute and subacute health care, and allow more people to remain in their homes for longer.
“For people with disabilities, assistive technologies are essential to independence and full participation in the social and economic life of the community."
ACT Minister for Disability, Emma Davidson was on hand to meet with those from the community accessing support at the pop-up clinic at the University.
“This partnership with the University of Canberra and Assistive Technology Australia is a fantastic opportunity for people in Canberra to come and see products and see what might work for them,” Ms Davidson said.
“It’s also extremely valuable for University of Canberra students and people working in the field in Canberra to actually see the products that are being recommended to people and how they might work in practice.”