Funding received for Digital Assistive Technology project

11 January 2024

Stewarts Care has been awarded €60,000 under the Health Service Executive’s Cooperative Real Engagement for Assistive Technology Enhancement (CREATE) initiative.

The funding, announced this week by Minister of State for Disabilities, Anne Rabbitte, is the second round of CREATE funding received by Stewarts Care for the ongoing project 'Digital and Assistive Technology Utilisation to Enhance Meaningful Day Experiences', led by Mohamed Maalim, Senior Occupational Therapist.

The project uses digital and assistive technology (DAT) to enable people with complex needs to have meaningful engagement with their environment.

“The first tranche of funding received under the CREATE initiative enabled the team to deliver Digital Assistive Technology (DAT) to approximately 35 people in Stewarts Care”, explained Mohamed.

“This technology includes items such as tablets, laptops, smartwatches, interactive toys and games, interactive sensory equipment and voice assistant technology (such as Amazon Alexa and Google Nest), motion sensors, talking pens and smart home devices. The funding also facilitated the selection of DATs for group activities, thereby extending the benefits of digital technology to a wider group of people. These technologies are used by both individuals and groups to enhance daily experiences and enable participation in meaningful activities for each person. Building the capacity and expertise of Stewarts Care employees is also essential, as we aim to empower our team to support the implementation and utility of these technologies more effectively".

With the additional grant, the team aims to deepen the impact by focusing on further personalising DAT solutions. Everyone’s day can be made more meaningful by integrating technology that resonates with their interests and meets their needs. The project team is also planning to establish a comprehensive Digital Assistive Technology Search Database, creating a repository of information that will streamline DAT's search and acquisition process for users, their families, and care providers. This database will act as a touchstone for enhancing the autonomy of the people supported by Stewarts Care and provide a framework for sharing knowledge on a larger scale, contributing to the broader field of assistive technology.

This is an exciting project that fosters and environment of inclusion and continuous learning and enriches the lives of those supported by Stewarts Care. We are grateful for the continued support of the HSE and the awarding of this funding as we continue this innovative project.