Rugby MP Mark Pawsey joined Warwickshire Vision Support and charity Leonard Cheshire at an assistive technology showcase in Parliament to hear about the transformational impact it can have upon the lives of disabled people.
Disabled people want to use the latest devices as much as anyone, yet access to innovative technology is often challenging for them because of low awareness amongst employers, public service providers, carers and disabled people of the available technology as well as high costs and a lack of relevant skills all play a part in preventing access to this support. In fact, 1 in 4 disabled people have never used the internet.
At the event Mark heard from designers and users of assistive technology about the opportunities it can offer, including supporting disabled people to communicate with friends and family, stay in work and live independently. Mark also heard about how organisations such as Warwickshire Vision Support are helping to remove barriers to its use for those who need it most.
Developers of specialist and mainstream assistive technology, including Microsoft, LexAble and Dolphin were also on hand to demonstrate some of the latest innovations.
Speaking at the event, Mark said:
“It was great to find out more about the work of Warwickshire Vision Support and Leonard Cheshire. In a world where technology advances each day, it is unacceptable that disabled people are barred from innovations which have the potential to support them to live, learn and work independently. We must try and make much greater use of assistive technology.”
“The work of local charities like Warwickshire Vision Support is crucial to enabling those with disabilities to play a full part in society and I was really interested to find out about their innovative IT courses for those with visual impairments. Even for those without disabilities, getting to grips with the latest technology can sometimes be a challenge so Warwickshire Vision Support are really providing important help for visually impaired people in Rugby.”