New technology brings a fresh chance for Ben - FitzRoy

New technology brings a fresh chance for Ben

Published: August 16, 2019

Whilst most people might take a new piece of technology for granted, for Ben, it’s a fresh chance to develop his speech.

Last month, two of our services won Amazon Echo Dots in a tech roadshow organised by our Assistive Technologist, Carrie Sant. And these new gadgets have already made a hugely positive impact on the people we support.

We spoke to Louise Hutchings, Service Manager at our registered care home Malvern. She said: Recently Ben, who we have supported for about ten years, has been using more assisted technology and has his own laptop which he can use to email his mum and play games. When he won the Echo Dot we did think how much this will benefit him in being able to communicate verbally.

Ben’s mum is brilliant at encouraging him to speak, so we try to use her techniques, and we thought it would be a good idea to use his new Echo Dot to help develop his speech further.

His understanding of the technology is absolutely brilliant, he knows he needs to talk in short sentences to make it work.

Louise continued to say that whilst Ben has been the only resident to use the Echo Dot, it has made them think about buying more for other residents.

From our side we can see the technology is getting him to speak more,” Louise added. Ben loves to make other people smile, and he can see that by talking more he is making everyone happy. It’s helping to open up another side of communication to him.

It’s amazing how much assistive technology has opened up the world to everyone we support.

“We have one resident who can now keep in contact with his mum over Skype regularly, which is ideal because she is in her 80s and can’t travel to see him in person all the time.”

Kerensa Palmer, Service Manager at our day service The Maltings, has also seen a positive response from the Echo Dots.

She said: It has taken a few weeks for the members to get used to the Echo Dot and to understand how to use it, but the majority seem to enjoy it.

The members use it to gain knowledge and ask it questions, one of The Maltings’ volunteers Andrew will ask what the weather is every morning and then will tell the people we support.”

Assistive Technologist, Carrie Sant, said: The Amazon Echo devices have given some of the people we support the opportunity to interact with technology using their voices, giving them access to information and control over their environment.

It is amazing to hear that the technology has had such a great response.”

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