Assistive technology impact assessment

Setting the scene

This piece of work was carried out for a public sector organisation supporting a London-wide service which has developed a broad set of policies and is committed to supporting disabled members of staff particularly in terms of assistive technology (AT). Assistive Technology can refer to any equipment, software or hardware, which enables a disabled person by increasing, maintaining, or improving their capabilities and providing access to tools in the workplace.

Requirement

With over 160 employees using assistive technology it was decided that the processes and systems in place should be reviewed in order to ensure that they were "fit for purpose" and delivered appropriate support to the users.

Solution

To use a variety of methods including desk research, online questionnaires and one-to-one interviews with assistive technology users, to identify:

  • their experiences of their employer’s reasonable adjustment/assistive technology programme
  • outstanding issues
  • aspirations and
  • any training and management support needs

Mary-Anne was involved in this research because of her experience of reasonable adjustment programmes and her understanding of the issues that both employers, and disabled employees face. Her findings and recommendations formed part of the report written for the senior management team.

Benefit

The feedback from assistive technology users, and their managers was invaluable to the client, enabling them to better understand the issues faced by their employees who are assistive technology users. These insights enabled them to develop a more efficient, effective way of providing support and assistance to relevant staff.

This client shares the growing employer awareness that providing people with the right technological solutions can be a very effective productivity driver. Also, by ‘getting it right’ for those requiring AT solutions, they will:

  • build a reputation as an employer that values difference in the workforce
  • attract and recruit the best and brightest in their field
    retain skills and experience
  • increase productivity and motivation
  • have a diverse workforce that reflects the community they serve