New AT workshop to be delivered in country WA

Following a series of successful workshops throughout 2017, the Fundamentals of Assistive Technology (AT) workshop will now be coming to a country town near you!Four people talking in pairs

Are you based in a country area and sometimes struggle to know what equipment would be best to use with clients, or feel that you’d benefit from hearing about what’s out there? This engaging and interactive workshop aims to expand people’s knowledge of AT and showcases the valuable ways AT can make a difference to people’s independence, safety and quality of life. It can be tailored to suit the needs of the audience, and was created for front-line staff who provide a direct caring role. The workshop content is also transferable across a variety of service delivery settings.

The ILC Country Services Team has been running regular country trips since 1989 and providing training in various regions across WA, and to a variety of services. What’s unique about Fundamentals of AT is that it’s a hands-on and practical workshop in which participants get an opportunity to trial and test equipment. It also provides participants with the chance to self-evaluate their knowledge of AT prior to and after the workshop, by completing the pre-and post-evaluation surveys, so they can leave with a real sense of achievement and confirmation of knowledge. Participants also receive materials to take home, to refresh learning and assist clients.

Three of the aims of the workshop are for participants to:

  • Understand how AT can enable people to remain safe and independent, and remain active participants in their community
  • Follow a safe and client-centered process in addressing AT needs, and know when and how to refer clients for additional support
  • Be aware of tailoring information to the needs of individual clients, and offer AT information within a timely and client-centered approach

Due to the popularity of the workshop series the whole ILC Country Services Team are now trained to present this workshop, alongside the other training that they currently provide. Most recently the workshop was presented to Home and Community Care (HACC) staff at the Shire of Manjimup, as part of a country trip to the south west by one of ILC’s occupational therapists, Nicole De Faria.

Nicole explained, “I was excited to share my knowledge of AT, because AT is exciting! The workshop felt very collaborative, it was a great group who were engaged and very happy to share their learning in a safe environment. The workshop provides a forum in which everyone can have a say and share their experiences. If there was uncertainty there was always an opportunity to discuss that and clarify.”

Young man being shown how to use a pieve of assistive equipment in the kitchen by and OTSomething that really stood out to her was that, “Everyone loved the hands-on aspect!”

Feedback from the workshop was overwhelmingly positive, from ‘Very enlightening’, to ‘Informative’ and ‘Wonderful.’ Those who came along who may have felt unsure about how best to apply their AT skills and experience when working with clients, ‘Now feel confident in my knowledge’. They also felt that it was valuable in working out the importance of matching AT features to the user.

To find out more about the workshop you can visit the Fundamentals of AT page on the ILC website. If you’d like the ILC to have a Fundamentals of AT workshop near you get in touch with the ILC’s Training and Events Officer on 9381 0600 or email, and we’ll make sure your staff get a thorough and informative training experience.

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