In May and June, AAATE staff and members gathered for online Aperitivos, an informal new meeting format introduced to help members stay in touch and have the opportunity to exchange on topics of and around their daily work.
In May, we heard from David Banes about the AT Service Resilience Survey which intends to explore how to build better services for the future.
Evert-Jan Hoogerwerf presented a new way for AAATE members to collaborate through “sprints” of 4-6 months. Members can participate in a full sprint, contribute on the spot with specific tasks or review developed material etc. The objective is to give members a flexible platform to collaborate and pool the their expertise in collaborative projects.
Our president Katerina Mavrou presented her work on the Digital Inclusive Education Framework which intends to develop a framework for all levels of education and help the implementation of AT for developing accessible and inclusive learning environments.
Renzo Andrich gave us an overview of the WHO project to develop an online system to support the selection of AT products. It targets people with disabilities, general practitioners, community workers … and anyone who wants to understand what kind of AT exists for particular use cases. The project is expected to bring the biggest benefit to developing countries and is called the GATE Assistive Technology Explorer. AAATE members are invited to provide feedback and input to the project.
Finally, Krzysztof Dobosz mentioned the possibility of collaboration in projects for students in the development of accessible games, accessible apps etc. at the Silesian University of Technology in Poland.
In June, Janet Seward gave us an update on DLF’s activities in the UK, in particular the Living Made Easy programme which runs popular initiatives such as AskSara, an online guided advice tool designed to provide advice to older and disabled people about equipment for independent living. In this programme was also recently launched a new project, namely a portal for people with learning disabilities.
Renzo Andrich continued his presentation from the May gathering and provided more details on the WHO’s online guidance system to facilitate selection of assistive products, based on community-collected knowledge, namely the Assistive Product Explorer. He explained and showcased how the guidance system works and what type of different searches can be carried out. The launch in English is foreseen for the end of 2021.
And the meeting concluded with a pre-announcement of the plans for a joint ICCHP-AAATE conference in 2022.
We invite all AAATE members to join us for the next online Aperitivo on 25 November 2021.