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    Disability Services, Mental Health and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Smart technologies to help people with a disability

    Disability Services, Mental Health and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Monday, January 09, 2012

    Smart technologies to help people with a disability

    The State Government is commissioning research into ways to use smart technologies to improve lives of people with a disability, Acting Disability Services Minister Craig Wallace said today.

    Mr Wallace said funding of $83,000 is available and the government is inviting nine suitable contractors to submit an expression of interest.

    “Technology is increasingly being used to help people with a disability to maximise their independence and improve their social and community participation,” he said.

    “It has the capacity to change people’s lives for the better and that’s why we’re commissioning further research into the use of smart assistive technology.

    “We’re already exploring opportunities in this field through the Home and Community Care Program, with five demonstration projects currently underway.

    “For example, one project in Beaudesert is using internet-based allied health communication through online meetings, web and video conferencing.

    “Recently, Disability Services Queensland hosted an industry roundtable seeking opportunities to make this technology mainstream.

    “To build on this momentum, we’re now commissioning further research into the best way to integrate smart assistive technology into disability and community care services.”

    Assistive technology is a broad term which refers to a product, equipment or device which helps people with disabilities maintain their independence or improve their quality of life.

    Examples include computer access aids, environmental controls, or sensory aids such as text to speech software or hearing-related technology.

    Mr Wallace said the research will explore current uses of smart assistive technology, the outcomes of five demonstration projects, as well as international trends and best practice.

    “We need to understand all of the challenges and issues so we can plan the best way forward in the use of assistive technologies,” he said.

    “This technology is all about helping people with disabilities to do things that they couldn’t otherwise do.”

    Minister Wallace’s Office 3896 3694