1. Source equipment
While you may already be using software that you feel works well, be aware of developments in the field and ensure that you keep up to date with new software.
Some people may have been assessed for adaptive technologies as part of their care package, while others won’t have been. You will need to consider whether you will require technology that is outside the care plan, and how you can access funding in these instances.
2. Train staff
All staff should be trained on the basics of how to use the software. Any new staff onboarded should meet the minimum requirement of understanding how this communicative software works.
Any training needs to be continuously iterated as users may need different technology and not all users utilise these systems in the same way.
Maintain a good knowledge of alternative communication and consider conducting training sessions every year.
3. Conduct an initial assessment
The package needed to address the requirements of each person with a neurodisability will vary. Assess what an individual user’s communication needs are, what level of understanding they have, and what communication is possible. You can then decide whether the tool will support this communication.
Keep in mind that users will utilise tools very differently. For example, one user may utilise a tool to answer ‘yes’ and another to answer ‘no’. This information will then be used to control most aspects of the user’s life based on this assessment.
It can take a long time to assess these needs, and you should be sure to mitigate the preconceptions of what you think the users’ requirements are, compared to what they want.
4. Familiarise each user with the technology
You should not overload the user with implementing new technology, as any new training can be very tiring.
Each resident will have differences in the way that they are able to learn how to use this tech.
The company who provides this technology provides support to the therapy team. However, therapists should use this knowledge and adapt it to the individual needs of the user.
This process of making sure the user is familiar with the technology can then be handed over to the day-to-day carer.
Many thanks to British Home for contributing this recipe.
This recipe is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence.
That means you are free to copy, redistribute, and build on the text of this recipe, but only for non-commercial purposes (if you want to use it for commercial purposes, get in touch with us at [email protected]). You must give credit to both Catalyst and British Home and link back to this page. If you build on this recipe then you must share your version under this same licence.
Do you have thoughts on this recipe? We would love to hear from you.