TechAbility 2020 – Presentations

AT Shorts – Practice Based

Earswitch – Hands free, silent and invisible control, Nick Gompertz, Earswitch

Nick has created a revolutionary access switch which reacts to movement of a middle ear muscle (tensor tympani – the rumble when you tightly close your eyes). This Earswitch provides widespread benefit providing a hands-free, silent and invisible control for devices, in something we already wear: earphones or hearing aids.

“Give me a Minute” and “Handshake”, Matt Oppenheim

Matt Oppenheim has used the BBC Microbit to create 2 tools for people with high access needs. “Give Me a Minute” shows when someone is composing a message on high-tech AAC. “Handshake” can be used as a contactless switch input via an arm movement.

The Nuvoic project – non-standard speech recognition for communication & smart home control, Liz Howarth, Karten Network

The Nuvoic project is a collaboration between specialist speech recognition developers Voiceitt and the Karten Network of accessible technology centres, with the aim of improving access to speech recognition for people with non-standard or dysarthric speech. The Karten Network is leading on user involvement in the UK and this clip presents opportunities for people with impaired speech who are unable to use mainstream voice recognition, and organisations who support them, to get involved in development and testing of the Voiceitt app for communication support and smart home control.

5 AT solutions in 5 minutes, Max Bianconi, Jewish Care

Max presents 5 short case short case studies of AT solutions which have benefitted individuals supported by Jewish Care. A mixture of ‘baked-in’ accessibility tools and 3rd party software and hardware are recommended to the people Jewish Care support to ensure their access need are met.

The Assistive Technologist’s Role in the Special Education Classroom, Chris Norrie, Dundee University

The presence of an Assistive Technologist has been proposed as a way of helping educators and learners to get the most out of the available assistive and pedagogical technologies in the classroom. This presentation reports the outcomes of an immersive, longitudinal study to understand the role of an AT and their unique potential contribution.

Chrome Text to Speech: Promoting Independent Learning, Sean Connolly, Cedar Foundation

‘Read Aloud’ is a free extension to the Google Chrome web browser. Computer users who experience difficulties reading online content have been accessing training materials via Read Aloud. For one young man supported by Cedar Foundation this meant he could access an accreditation he was previously unable to achieve.

Supporting AT in practice, Richard Bright, Newbridge Group

Newbridge have implemented a delivery strategy featuring video setup and usage guides to ensure support staff can support AT solutions consistently. Richard outlines the pathway established for learners who use AT.

Video Conferencing with a Sight Impairment: a conversation, Jo Healy, Vision North Somerset

In this online conversation Jo and some of her sight impaired colleagues from Vision North Somerset discuss the advantages of video conferencing and the challenges it can present. They also share some tips and tricks to get the best out of meeting online. A presentation to raise your awareness of the practical implications where sight loss and technology meet.

The DfE EdTech Demonstrator Schools and Colleges Programme, Erica Smith, Highfurlong School

Discover how the EdTech Demonstrator Programme can help your college overcome some of the challenges we face in the new era of remote learning. Learn how you can request support from a Demonstrator School and how to access the free training and resources they offer.


AT Shorts – Exhibitors

Cognitive Support for Autism & Learning Disabilities in Education, Abilia

Times of extreme upheaval and change can provide significant challenges in everyday life – hear how HandiCalendar is supporting people with Autism & Learning Disabilities & their families / care network to manage anxieties and risks.

ClaroRead and Claro Apps, Claro Software

Claro Software develops technology for people with print and reading difficulties like dyslexia. Find out how ClaroRead and Claro apps can assist with reading, writing and studying.

Introduction to Global tasks, LexAble

Global Tasks by LexAble is the task management solution that reduces stress and helps you stay on top of your work. Neil Cottrell will show you how you can see all your projects visually organised in one place, at a glance. Zoom in and out to see the right level of detail.  How you can improve your focus by temporarily hiding tasks you don’t need to see. They’ll be remembered for you and reappear at the time you set. And show you how you can check your tasks anywhere on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. All of your tasks stay magically in sync across all devices.

Skoog – Making music easy

How Skoog (a Bluetooth accessory for iPad) can enable students of all abilities to enjoy the benefits of making music. The Session will include examples of how to use this technology for a range of Mutli-sensory learning opportunities and a review of available class materials.

Glean by Sonocent

Solving the notetaker’s dilemma for students with disabilities.

Inspiration 10: Helping users with SpLDs to comprehend, create and communicate knowledge successfully, Inspiration

Find out in this presentation how our visual learning approach makes it easy for users to;

  • visually break down a concept or process;
  • create notes;
  • capture knowledge from research;
  • write; and
  • to support revision.

Introducing Boardmaker 7, Tobii Dynavox

A much-anticipated update to a much loved SEN software title. This session will highlight all the new symbols and features Boardmaker 7 introduces including ready made differentiated curriculum, a huge bank of print and interactive templates and the ability to support learners while tracking their progress from a distance.


Hopes Hamlet


Accessibility insights from remote assessment, Craig Brown, Hereward College

During lockdown many pre-entry AT assessments at Hereward College were carried out remotely. On many occasions this provided knowledge of additional or different skills and accessibility requirement would be gained from a face-to-face assessment.

Download the accessibility insights from remote assessment slides

Apps for Independence – lessons from delivering AT training in India, Neil Beck, TechAbility / National Star

As part of a link with educators, Neil delivered AT training to teachers in India.  The limitations of budget and available technologies required some imaginative, free and cheap solutions.  Here Neil shares how the learning from this project can be applied in the UK and beyond.

Download the apps for independence – lessons from delivering AT training in India slides

Sensory Rooms – Getting it right, Carol Allen and Richard Hirstwood, Hirstwood Training

Carol and Richard have many years of experience ensuring that sensory rooms can be interactive learning environments. This presentation will help you get the best use out of your current room or get the design right for a future room.

Become a qualified Educational Assistive Technologist, Rohan Slaughter, JISC / Dundee University

Dundee University recently launched an Educational Assistive Technology MSc. This exciting new course – commencing in January 2021 – will give formal recognition to the role of the Assistive Technologist in education. Rohan has been instrumental in joining with University of Dundee setting up the course and will describe content, modes of delivery and entry requirements.

Download the become a qualified educational Assistive Technologist slides

Widening access? The future of assistive technology policy in the UK, Clive Gilbert, Policy Connect

This presentation will explore the role of the state in the past, present and future of assistive technology provision in the UK

Using Amazon Echo devices with Adults with Learning Disabilities and Autism, Carrie Sant, Fitzroy

An overview of Fitzroy’s journey so far in using Echo Dots with the people we support in registered care homes, supported living and day service environments. Included will be the successes and challenges we have encountered along the way.

Download the using Amazon Echo devices with adults with learning disabilities and autism slides

Accessible Gaming, Simon Barnett, National Star & Joshua Reeves, Disability Rights Campaigner

Want to start gaming but can’t get the controllers to work for you? Need to adjust the settings because you can’t hit X 20 times per second? Simon will present a where to get started guide with pointers to hardware, games and organisations which can be of assistance.

Download the accessible gaming slides