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New report on how people find out about equipment to help them to live independently published today by the AT Alliance

Date: 2nd June 2011

The Assistive Technology (AT) Alliance has published today a report “Anarchy or Opportunity? The future for Assistive Technology information services” that considers how the environment for information on Assistive Technology (sometimes known as daily living equipment) has changed since the formation of the Coalition Government.

The report is the culmination of the final year’s work of a three year project funded by the Department of Health and updates the AT Alliance’s report “The AT Information Network: Mapping the Information Environment, the Challenges and Opportunities” published in September 2010. It covers areas including developments in the policy and funding context, key developments in AT services and AT information, the market place for AT equipment and information. It also outlines the work of the AT Alliance to strengthen the provision of AT information through its website guide ‘All about Equipment’ (www.allaboutequipment.org.uk).

The report can be downloaded as a PDF from the AT Alliance website – www.at-alliance.org.uk.

Notes to editors:

  1. Assistive Technology (AT) is any product or service designed to enable independence for disabled and older people – Definition, King’s Fund consultation meeting, March 2001
  2. The AT Alliance is made up of four leading national charities providing impartial information about assistive technology: Assist UK, Disabled Living Foundation (DLF), the Foundation for Assistive Technology (FAST) and Ricability.
  3. In April 2008 the Alliance received three years’ funding from the Department of Health for a project entitled “The Assistive Technology Information Network for the Future”. The project aims to bring together the experience and expertise of these four organisations and develop stronger collaborative working.

About the AT Alliance members:

  • Assist UK (www.assist-uk.org) leads a UK wide network of locally-based Disabled Living Centres. Most centres include a permanent exhibition of products where people can try a variety of assistive technology solutions and get impartial and free advice from professional staff and disabled people.
  • The Disabled Living Foundation (DLF)(www.dlf.org.uk) provides information, advice and training to support independent living and choice for those who need assistive technology. Its services include a comprehensive database of equipment called DLF Data (www.dlf-data.org.uk), a national Helpline, free factsheets, one of the largest equipment demonstration centres in the country and a number of online services, including a guided advice tool AskSARA (www.asksara.org.uk) and free-to-use advice website on daily living equipment, ‘Living made easy’ (www.livingmadeeasy.org.uk).
  • The Foundation for Assistive Technology (FAST) (www.fastuk.org) works with organisations across the AT community in statutory, voluntary and private sectors to advance innovation in product design, to encourage the adoption of technology by disabled and older people and to support AT service improvement.
  • Ricability (www.ricability.org.uk) is a national independent consumer research charity that produces free, practical information for older and disabled people. It carries out a range of research, product testing and evaluation, mystery shopping, and information and helpline evaluation. Ricability produces consumer reports, engages people in consumer testing and engages in consultancy to support organisations to provide accessible information about AT for disabled and older people. The organisation also has websites for specific product information and reviews (www.ricability-digitaltv.org.uk and www.product-reviews.org.uk).
  • For further information

    Contact: Marketing Department, DLF
    Tel: 020 7432 8013, Email: marketing@dlf.org.uk

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