Assistive Technology at Work
Assistive technology proves itself in the workplace, but many more with disabilities and impairments could benefit, says a survey by BATA.
Three quarters of employees who use assistive technology (AT) say it has improved their effectiveness at work, although employers could do more to promote the use of AT.
Some 78% of those who took part in the Assistive Technology in the Workplace study said AT had improved their effectiveness at work. Other benefits included improved job satisfaction (64%), greater motivation (50%), reduced sickness absence (30%) and a higher opinion of their employer (55%).
The Assistive Technology in the Workplace study was commissioned by BATA, sponsored by assistive technology company iansyst and conducted by Clear Company, a recruitment specialist.
Since 1995, UK organisations have been required by law to make reasonable adjustments, including the provision of AT, to accommodate disabled employees and to give customers equal access to goods and services. The aim of the survey was to gain a clearer picture of the use of AT in the workplace, how it is requested and how it is implemented.
Assistive Technology in the UK
AT can be life-changing and for many it is vital to independence and for a productive and enjoyable engagement in and contribution to society, according to a BATA report called Assistive Technology in the UK, a Baseline Review.
The explosion of high tech devices and software, the convergence of mainstream, assistive technologies and greater accessibility generally with mainstream devices, has resulted in increased consumer choice and opportunity but a bewildering array from which to choose. The sector is complex with many stakeholders.
With around 1,500 products available, 1000 business entities,10,000 employees (with many more employed with AT as just part of their role) and an estimated contribution to GDP of around £ 70bn the sector is complex and challenging for all stakeholders, not least the end user.
BATA is grateful to Shirley Evans for her tireless work on this report and to Sal Cooke for her support through JiscTechDis.