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Assistive technology

Because everyone’s important

If you’re taking on technology transformation, how are you supporting all your users to embrace the change?

The Inform Team has worked on several client projects to support and help assistive technology (AT) users. We’ve learnt by listening and built our approach from the people we’ve helped already.

From device upgrades to wider digital transformation projects, not all users are affected equally. So your programme has to reflect that difference too.

A female character with a cochlear implant using a mobile phone

What is Assistive Technology (AT)?

Assistive or adaptive technology (AT) is devices or systems that help maintain or improve someone’s ability to work. Well-known examples are screen readers such as JAWS or speech recognition technology, such as Dragon.

There are also people who may have particular requirements, such as dyslexia, even though they might not need additional technology. Together we call this the AT+ community.

Image of a brain one side is multi-coloured the other is grey depicting our neurodiversity challenge and that not everyone works the same way

Do I have to treat AT+ users differently?

There’s a human and a business benefit to supporting people to carry out their work well. This might show in staff loyalty and being an employer of choice as much as helping the people who rely on specialist technology to contribute fully.

Each AT+ user will probably have a different way they need to use technology, respond to training and manage their work. So it’s important that you build in the time you need to do this effectively.

Unsure of where to start? Watch our short video for ideas.

Cartoon man helping a woman who is visually impaired followed by a guide dog

When should AT+ users be in my plan?

You should plan for, and work with, AT+ users at every stage. Here are three key areas that are also a snapshot of when Inform has helped AT+ users.

Procurement. Not all new systems work with all specialist software. We’ve worked with vendors directly and been a bridge between AT+ colleagues, IT departments and HR teams to achieve solutions.

Training. How will you deliver the training? From sign language to stairwells to sessions looking at adjustments for specialist software, your AT+ community will almost certainly have particular requirements. Your training needs to flex for this.

Roll out. How are you helping people take on the change? Some colleagues may need more support so be ready.

You can’t use the same plan for everyone

When it comes to technology transformation programmes, not all AT+ users are affected in the same way. So you cannot make a one size fits all change programme.

Making reasonable adjustments is a requirement of the Equality Act 2010 and there may be other industry-specific or international regulations and laws too.

If you need support with your programme, let us help.

A short guide to supporting AT+ users with change