25 April 2024

WHO Assistive Technology Visit CreATe To Gain Insight Into New Programme

A delegation from the World Health Organisation, the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEIY), and the HSE were hosted by our CreATe team in the Side By Side Clubhouse in Dun Laoghaire on the 19th of March. They were welcomed by Catherine Lacey, our interim Head of Service Operations who shared our story and how Acquired Brain Injury Ireland began.




Kylie Shae, who is responsible for the leadership, co-ordination and direction of the WHO Access to Assistive Technology team was interested in learning more about how the CreATe service was established, how it operates and most importantly, how it impacts the person served. She met with Brendan Doyle, a gentleman who accesses case management and clubhouse support, and he explained that having access to expert guidance on using Augmentative and Assistive Communication (AAC) allows him to tell his story and call for help in an emergency. He is now also using accessibility features in his phone, enabling his text messages to be read aloud, and he is also using an app to read complex information in letters.

Kylie also met Brian Hogan, a resident in our assisted living service in Clarecastle. Brian spoke about how he sent his first email to his sister in over a decade, and he can now access his email inbox himself without relying on others.  Brian spoke to Kylie about how he is learning how to use Assistive Technology (AT) to support his independence, after losing his vision due to his Acquired Brain Injury.

Rosie Gowran, the Clinical Lead for the National Clinical Programme for People with Disability, who fund the CreATe initiative, was interested in the Assistive Technology library that is available to the persons served by ABI Ireland.  Anne Connolly, Project Manager and Senior Occupational Therapist explained how the library allows people time to try out technology with the support of our staff. Our National Clinical Programme Manager, Caroline Donnellan spoke about the evidence-based practice that underpins the programme, sharing clinical outcomes and data gathered on the programme to date.

This was a successful visit for the DCEIY and the HSE, who are keen to understand how programmes such as this can be replicated and scaled.

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