Assistive Technologies (AT) has been an area of work for our network for many years. It is an umbrella term which includes assistive adaptive and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities or elderly in their rehabilitation, daily lives, education, work or leisure. The World Health Organization defines assistive products as “any external product (including devices, equipment, instruments or software), especially produced or generally available, the primary purpose of which is to maintain or improve an individual’s functioning and independence, and thereby promote their well-being. The WHO also clarifies that “AT products are also used to prevent impairments and secondary health conditions“. In the last decades, the shift away from the pure medical model of disability towards an approach that promotes maximising functioning and well-being, has sparked international interest and research on how people with disabilities can benefit from technologies
Information and communication technologies (ICT) have become increasingly prevalent in today’s society and in all aspects of our life. Lower prices have made ICT more accessible, whilst technological developments have prompted a wider use of ICTs to meet different user needs, including those of people with disabilities. ICTs support people with disabilities to enhance their social and economic integration in communities. ICTs play a key role in the rehabilitation sector and therefore for EPR and its members have long explored the opportunities ICTs offer to improve the quality of activities and services.
EPR supports its members in sharing their expertise and technological development, bolstering collaboration to identify the numerous opportunities AT and ICTs offer to people with disabilities in different areas and cases.