Autumn 2009

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Autumn 2009 Powered By Docstoc
					Autumn 2009
We have the Technology...

Technology is advancing quicker on a global scale than ever
before. With the majority of family homes now having
computers and other hi-tech devices, our day to day living
environment is almost in complete contrast to how it was
even as little as 10 years ago.

As with all technology, its overriding purpose is to make our
lives easier, and the same can be said for those who use
MacIntyre’s services.

Assistive technology devices are becoming more a part of
the everyday lives of people with learning disabilities than
ever before, be it a motion sensor or a Nintendo Wii.

In this issue of The Ring we look at how assistive
technology is making a real and positive change in people
across the country in many different ways.

We hope you enjoy the read...
Bill’s Bit

A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of presenting
certificates of achievement to people at the Warrington
Learning Centre.

Regular readers of The Ring will know that we like to
celebrate people’s success at MacIntyre and for me it is a
highlight of my year to be invited to take part and share in
some of people’s pride and hear the individual stories of
good work and personal progress. I should also like to say
that the success is down to a remarkable staff team in
Warrington.Under the leadership of Marje in the learning
centre and Darren at the vocational training café they
cheerfully and skilfully facilitate each person’s learning goals
and then stand back on the day to ensure the individuals
themselves become centre stage.
In addition to the staff team is a hardworking and loyal group
of volunteers who eagerly contribute their skills and
knowledge the increase the options available for people to
enjoy. I was pleased to thank the volunteers on the day but
I realise we don’t do this enough. So thank you to all of you
who freely contribute your time to MacIntyre; to raise funds,
organise events, support individual interests and are just

Your help and support is much
appreciated- MacIntyre needs you.
In this issue

Providing Technology
What is Assistive Technology? How can it help people in
everyday situations?

Made to Measure
Practice Development Officer Donald Delmohamed takes us
through his high-tech workstation.

Advising, Assisting, Delivering
The Ring meets Stef Kay. MacIntyre’s Assistive Technology
Advisor to talk about the future of the project.

Installation Complete
We return to Warrington to find out how our pilot service are
benefitting from Assistive Technology.

“Wii Love It!”
Learners at Oxford Lifelong Learning improve their fitness
and co-ordination whilst having loads of fun too.

Plus loads more...
Providing Technology

The MacIntyre Assistive Technology Project has been
developed to enhance the organisation’s technical skills
whilst delivering the most effective, efficient, person centred
solutions for the people we support.

There are various definitions of assistive technology, one of
which, by The King’s Fund, defines it as any product or
service designed to enable independence for disabled and
older people.

For instance, if someone has trouble dialling a phone
number, there are phones available with just a few large
buttons and you can place pictures of people next to each
button, the idea is you see the photo of who you want to ring
and then all you have to do is hit that one button. Much

Some people use technology that speaks to them, like a
talking watch or even kitchen weighing scales that talk to

There are also products that are more subtle such as
movement sensors which can alert staff if someone has
woken up in the night and may need assistance. This stops
staff having to be intrusive and checking in on someone
regularly through the night which might disturb the person’s
sleep patterns and take away some of their feeling of

At present MacIntyre are working with individual people to
identify pieces of equipment that will enhance their lives,
supporting them to take more control; we see this as
“person centred technology”.
Made to Measure

MacIntyre employee Donald Delmohamed's role has
developed from an assistant at our coffee shop in Stony
Stratford, to the editor of the successful publication, The
Mag (the magazine produced for and by the people who use
MacIntyre services), as well as becoming Practice
Development Officer for the organisation.

Donald first began working for MacIntyre at the coffee shop
nearly eight years ago, before deciding he would like to
develop his career further within the organisation and work
more within a corporate role.

Suffering from a form of degenerative brittle bone disease
and arthritis has had significant implications on Donald’s
work environment at MacIntyre's central office in Milton

The use of assistive technology devices which specifically
address his very personalised use of display screen
equipment ensures that Donald's working day is more
comfortable, therapeutic and, consequently, more enjoyable.

Donald's display screen equipment risk assessment
identified that standard office furniture was not suitable for
him, and that more bespoke equipment was required.
"The chairs in any office are just built to standard and it was
uncomfortable to be sitting there all day."

Having accessed funds from MacIntyre and the ‘Access to
Work’ initiative, Donald was able to purchase the equipment
he needed.

"My first point of call was to visit my Occupational Health
Advisor in Milton Keynes who then contacted MacIntyre to
liaise with them over what was required. They also offered
contacts for companies that might be able to help. The
Access to Work team then visited me at work and did a
thorough assessment of my workspace, measuring me, my
desk and finding solutions for the problems I had."

The outcome of this assessment was the construction of
made to measure equipment that was completely tailored to
Donald's needs.

"I was able to get a new mouse, monitor adjusters, my new
chair, footrests and a flexible split level keyboard all made
especially for me. It is not a miracle cure, but it has made
my working day so much easier."

Donald now has a chair that fits his size and posture
perfectly and also uses a new joystick mouse which allows
for greater movement with less of the stress on the joints
than a conventional mouse would give.
"You get used to it very quickly. It's just like using a games
console. You really need minimal pressure and all the
movements are made with your thumb."

Donald's use of assistive technology has proved that
devices such as these are not just for the home
environment. Through the innovative and creative use of
assessment and planning, there is no restriction to what
anybody with a disability can achieve.
Advising, Assisting, Delivering

The use of assistive technology is increasing across the
health and social care sector. Leading the way in its
implementation, MacIntyre has recently recruited an
Assistive Technology Advisor, Stef Kay.

Stef’s role is to manage the introduction of new technologies
into projects and services to assist staff to be technically
enabled, which in turn helps the people using Macintyre
services to gain further control of their lives. She also plays
a key role in keeping the whole organisation up to speed
with current research and development, ensuring we have
the most up to date and cutting edge solutions to hand.

Services around MacIntyre can come to Stef looking for a
solution to a particular situation and she will aim to offer
advice or find the technology. To support this, Stef is always
looking for better solutions and regularly works with
assistive technology providers to understand what is

Stef has produced information sheets for staff which tell
them about the various solutions and get people thinking
about this new technology-led way of working. Another
pivotal part of Stef’s role is spreading the word about
assistive technology across MacIntyre.
To facilitate this, she has been taking to the road to try and
inform as many staff and the people we support as possible.
She has recently attended MacIntyre Roadshows and
conferences and sees this as one of her main forums for
introducing people to devices that could make all the
difference in promoting their independence, confidence and
self esteem that they would otherwise not have known

Stef says “The way social care is funded is ultimately
unsustainable if we don’t assess for assistive technology
usage. It helps people to be much more independent and to
grow in confidence and self esteem. If we can get it into
schools and into students’ lives and then build on it from
there as people’s lives progress, it will eventually become
second nature to use it and people won’t even think about
For more information on Stef’s role or the Assistive
Technology project contact Stef on 01908 357011 or email
Installation Complete

You may recall in our Winter 2008 edition of The Ring, we
reported on the launch of our Assistive Technology Project
pilot in Warrington. The project, which is now complete, has
enabled the ladies in the house to live more independently
as they are taking increasing control in their lives.

When you visit the service, you are immediately struck with
the use of technology at the house. A special door bell with
a camera lens has been installed which is linked to a small
display screen mounted in the lounge. This means the
people living there can see who is calling before deciding to
answer without having to ask a member of staff to assist. In
addition, should there ever be a problem, a panic button by
the front door will immediately alert staff.

Inside the house is just as impressive. The ladies have a
specially adapted phone with large pictorial buttons enabling
them to simply press the button with the picture of the
person on they want to call and the phone does the rest.
Lisa, who lives at the service, also has her own adapted
mobile phone working on the same principle. Lisa much
prefers this as she doesn’t have to get staff to dial for her,
she can just ring whoever she wants, whenever she wants.

In addition to the personalised devices in the house, safety
has been a principal feature as a result of the initial
assessment. As well as the standard smoke and heat
detectors throughout the house, one tenant who suffers
from auditory problems has a smoke alarm underneath her
pillow which vibrates. Another has a sensor on their bed
which alerts staff if she has got up in the night for more than
10 minutes, letting them know of a potential problem instead
of them having to make regular, more intrusive, safety

Use of the assessed assistive technology devices at the
service has been a great success and the ladies are now
looking at new technology for possible future installation. To
greater assist with the independent nature of supported
living, they are looking at getting pendants to wear which
would enable them to spend time on their own in the house.
In the event of an emergency, if the pendant is pulled, staff
nearby would be alerted to come to their aid. This gives
everyone extra peace of mind.

With the help of these devices, and with guidance from
MacIntyre's Assistive Technology Advisor, everyone is
excited about the future solutions that could come from
assistive technology, making living at the house easier
whilst promoting increased independence and freedom.
“Wii love it!”

The Oxford Lifelong Learning Centre, which provides day
services for adults in the local area, has been operational for
over 10 years. Over the last two years, the number of
interactive devices in the centre has grown, allowing
learners the opportunity to enhance both their cognitive and
motor skills in an independent, person centred way.

As well as the use of interactive touch screen computers
with roller ball mouses, the biggest success has been the
introduction of a Nintendo Wii games system.

As an avid marathon runner, Head of Service Penny Lazard
has run the London Marathon for the last number of years
and as a result had raised sufficient funds to kit out the
centre's very own ‘Wii room’.

People at the centre were able to buy the Wii console itself,
a number of games and accessories as well as a large
television to enhance the gaming experience.

Of all the games, the most popular amongst the learners at
the centre has been Wii Sports, where players can take part
in all sort of fun and interesting sports, with ten pin bowling
being the biggest hit of all.
Penny tells us more:

“It’s been brilliant. The best thing we have ever bought. It
also means that the learners have begun to learn from and
interact with each other.”

One of the most significant examples of the therapeutic
benefits of the console has been that of a learner who did
not initiate conversation, who only through the use of the Wii
began to vocalise and verbally communicate with staff.

“We were amazed at how people have just come out of
themselves on the Wii - people who never used to speak but
who through their gameplay have found their voice. It’s just
incredible and still so exciting.

What we have also seen is a real increase in people’s hand
to eye co-ordination and fine motor skills, and this is just
improving all the time. Games on a normal PC just wouldn’t
do that.”

But it doesn’t stop there. The centre now plans to buy some
Wii MotionPlus handsets, having had great success trialling
one belonging to a member of staff.

The MotionPlus is an expansion device for the Wii Remote
that allows it to more accurately capture complex motions
enabling actions to be rendered identically on the screen in
real time, allowing a persons movement to be recreated
precisely on the screen.

As well as wishing the learners and the centre all the best
with their future gaming ventures, The Ring would also like
to extend its thanks to Penny, without whose dedicated
fundraising activities none of this would have been possible.

For more information on the Oxford Lifelong Learning centre
please contact Penny Lazard on 01865 798642 or email
500 Club Results

May 2009 winning numbers:
188 136 224        439    67

June 2009 winning numbers:
59   421 223       310 316

July 2009 winning numbers:
113 218 135         72 497

August 2009 winning numbers:
345 168     332     372 353

September 2009 winning numbers:
449 385     174    89 287

October 2009 winning numbers:
35   358    252    167 470

If you’re not already one, why not become a member of
the MacIntyre 500 Club where, for only £5 a month, you
have the chance to win £500.
Virgin London Marathon 2010

MacIntyre are proud to announce that we now have six
budding athletes signed up and ready to partake in the
Virgin London Marathon 2010.

As our runners no doubt begin their preparations for the big
day, we would like to wish them all our very best wishes in
advance and look forward to catching up with them all over
the coming months.

Our runners for next year are:

Paul Temple
Derek Nye
Thomas Harrington
Paul Adams
David Mayne
Vanessa Ashworth

Can you assist?

Assistive technology, in whatever form, is clearly an
incredible support and aid to the people who use MacIntyre

Whether it is a night time motion sensor to keep someone
safe, an adapted workstation to enable someone to partake
in valued day to day employment or a Nintendo Wii to assist
with manual dexterity, assistive technology is making a real
difference everyday to the people we support.

The challenge for us now is to ensure that any required
devices are as common and standard across our services
as possible, just as the TV remote, the personal computer
and the cordless phone are in our own homes.

As with all technology though, this comes at a price and this
is a cost which few can realistically afford. You can help us
provide these amazing devices at a MacIntyre service by
donating today.

If you would like to support our work, please visit our
website or contact our fundraising team for more

Your support is always appreciated.

Remembering MacIntyre in your Will

When you are making your will, your first concern will
naturally be for your own family and friends, but if you can
also remember MacIntyre with a gift of any size, we are
always grateful.
Legacies are an important way that you can support the
work of MacIntyre and help us make a real difference in the
lives of the people we support.

In this edition of The Ring, you will find a leaflet that gives
further information about leaving a legacy. As well as useful
advice about what to consider when making a will, it also
tells you about what MacIntyre does with the money we
receive from our generous supporters.

If you have any questions about this or any other aspect of
MacIntyre’s fundraising activities, please don’t hesitate to
get in touch.

Investors in People Award

MacIntyre is pleased to announce that we have once again
been awarded Investors in People status.

We have held this award since 2001 and, as well as
achieving re-accreditation, we have been recognised with a
Bronze Award for our commitment to excellence and
innovation in the recruitment and development of staff.
Donate Online

If you would like to donate online to any of our fundraising
please visit: and click on ‘Donate

Further Information

For more information on how you can become involved with
any of our fundraising initiatives for MacIntyre please
contact our Fundraisers Sue Ball and Deborah Kenyon on
01908 230100 or email