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How the TIDD Foundation supports Assistive Technology

THE TIDD FOUNDATION has supported McKenzie Centre since 1996. Every year we have received funds from the foundation and we have used these to support our social worker, playgroups and in particular Assistive Technology at the centre.

Assistive Technologies (AT) include specialised access to computers such as touch screens, switch interfaces to enable scanning, switch adapted mice, large customised mice and big keyboards. Specialised software and apps loaded on hardware assist children with fine and gross motor skills, language development delays and sensory issues to access valuable learning and communication opportunities. Presenting learning in a stimulating and engaging format provides opportunities for extending concentration, repeated arm stretches to activate switches and increased interactions with the adult or child alongside them.

One of the most exciting things about AT is that it is a low-cost way to impact a child’s learning and achievement.

AT can also be used to encourage social skills. For example, iPads and tablets can be utilised to develop co-operative play for children with a broad range of disabilities, including autism and Down’s Syndrome, who find social interaction challenging, because they offer an exciting incentive for turn-taking and sharing.