The European Union launched a free online resource to help people with disabilities and the elderly find relevant assistive technology (AT). This service seeks to simplify finding assistive technology devices and services according to individual needs, preference and desired language. It is hoped to make it easier for Europeans to get a handle on AT solutions as information about them may not be easily available or even exist.
This tool could be very useful for people with MS who are finding it increasingly difficult to use a computer or other pieces of technology. Difficulties often arise from loss of strength in the hands and arms, altered feelings in the hands and problems with eyesight.
The portal called ATIS4AII collates data on computer and communications products such as:
• Magnification software
• Keyboard and mouse alternatives
• Text to speech translation packages
• Voice recognition systems
The portal also offers a range of resources including links to news stories about AT. Details for professionals about best practice and relevant EU compliance legislation and a search tool claiming to offer product details and independent assessment of the latest products available across Europe.
The project is an offshoot of ONCE Spain’s National organisation for the blind as well as other European institutions and organisations concerned with helping people with disabilities and the elderly use technology for greater inclusion and improved quality of life.
In Ireland www.assistireland.ie also has information about AT services. They also provide information on other tares like adapted furniture, clothing, hoists, alarms and personal care