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Assistive and Enabling Technologies: Past, Present and Future

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Date: Thursday 22nd November 2018

Time: 18:30 – 21:00

Location: The Chancellors' Building, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY

From Post-it notes to sat navs; we use assistive technologies every day, to make our lives easier. For those with long term disabilities and health problems, they can enable people to live independent, fulfilled lives.

Our 50th free annual lecture

We would love to welcome you along to our 50th annual lecture with talks from Professor Roger Orpwood, Professor Nigel Harris and Professor Praminda Caleb-Solly.

Designability (formerly Bath Institute of Medical Engineering) has been at the forefront of development of assistive technologies for 50 years.

A pioneer of user centered design

From the 1990s, Roger Orpwood was one of the pioneers of user centred design techniques for people with disabilities. Working with the team, he established the charity as the world leader in the development of early years powered mobility and the development of technology to support people living with dementia and their carers.

Roger will be joining us to share some of the interesting insights and experiences that he gained from this work.

Translating research into exciting new technology

Over the last few years, there has been some change in perceptions of assistive technology and there is now less of a stigma associated with its use. In part, this has been due to recognition of the importance of aesthetics and better marketing of the technology, which is has resulted in an emerging mainstream retail market.

Nigel Harris has overseen the translation of research into new technologies through to new products, which has established Designability as the UK’s most successful independent developer of products to support people living with dementia. He will outline some of challenges and barriers to full adoption and acceptance of assistive technology.

Caring for an ageing population with some help from robotics

We have an ageing population and over the next decade there will be more people living with disabilities than ever before. Advances in digital technologies and robotics, coupled with a growing consumer market for these technologies, offer significant potential for new products and services that will enable people to live safe, independent lives. However, there are unresolved questions about over reliance on these technologies and the loss of human social contact. Praminda Caleb-Solly leads a joint Designability – University of West of England research programme that is exploring the development and application of these new technologies. Praminda will give us a vision of the future applications and opportunities for these new digital technologies.