Environmental controls

Learners have access to technology to increase independence by controlling their surroundings

The technology to control the environment has become mainstream now, increasing affordability, availability and usability. For some users specialist equipment may still be the best option.

When choosing a device the access of learners must first be considered. Should access be from a communication aid, a remote control or voice? This will change the requirements and the suitability of certain options. Speech Language Therapy or Occupational Therapy services will often be the first post of call when considering these options.

Some of the most common items to be controlled in this way are:

    • Doors & Windows,
    • Curtains & blinds
    • Lighting
    • Television
    • Hi-Fi’s
    • Phones
    • Heaters & fans

Mental Health

Learners have access to technology that will help them cope with mental health issues

Mental health is a major issue and there are considerations when it comes to technology use. At times it may be able to support mental health; some popular apps and systems are Headspace and Calm.

Another issue to consider is overuse of technology, and there are apps such as Forest and SleepTown to encourage healthy use of mobile devices.

The NHS also provides an app to order repeat prescriptions called Echo


Technology to organise travel​

Learners have access to technology that will help them to make journeys and help them to find their location

Common tools such as Google Maps and Apple Maps can help learners to navigate, especially with features such as location sharing and highlighting important places. Uber can help learners with a text based system for ordering taxis and ability to track using GPS

Tap2Text on Android is an example of a visual text messaging app that can pre-populate messages ready for you to send. There are tools like this that can also give location details.

Many local areas have their own accessible travel apps so this is worth checking too.


Technology to organise finances​

Learners have access to technology that will help them manage their finances

Disabilities can make money management a challenge at times. Scope has created a video about accessible banking services including details of apps.

Learners can also use apps with visual prompts to help them keep track of spending. There is a Money Manager tool for iOS and a Money Manager tool for Android too.

For some learners paying with a mobile phone or wearable device can increase safety and ease of use.

Technology for leisure

Learners have access to technology that will improve their enjoyment of life while being sociable