Em­pow­er­ing app

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News -

NED­LANDS In­de­pen­dent Liv­ing Cen­tre WA launched a free app last week to help em­power Aus­tralians liv­ing with dis­abil­ity.

The ini­tia­tive, the Equip My­self app pro­vides users with easy ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion about the range of equip­ment and tech­nol­ogy op­tions avail­able that could as­sist with their in­de­pen­dence, safety and well­be­ing.

Through a vir­tual world, peo­ple can ex­plore as­sis­tive equip­ment and tech­nolo­gies in the en­vi­ron­ments in which they would be used such as the kitchen, bath­room, gar­den, at work, in the study, at the beach or in the com­mu­nity.

Peo­ple are also able to read real-life sto­ries about how West Aus­tralians with dis­abil­ity use in­no­va­tive as­sis­tive tech­nol­ogy.

Known for hav­ing a steely de­ter­mi­na­tion, Im­ran Ariff has over­come the phys­i­cal chal­lenges of liv­ing with cere­bral palsy to be an in­de­pen­dent man who does not take things for granted.

“I live in my own unit and have daily sup­port; I use a pow­ered wheel­chair op­er­ated by a foot­con­trolled joy­stick and mostly rely on pub­lic trans­port to get around the city,” he said.

“Due to my in­volve­ment in com­mu­nity and govern­ment en­deav­ours, be­ing able to use tech­nol­ogy is very im­por­tant.

“Word-pre­dic­tor soft­ware is in­stalled on my lap­top to re­duce the amount of text I’m re­quired to type.”

Mr Ariff said tech­nol­ogy made a huge dif­fer­ence to his life.

“It is a lot quicker and means I have time to do other projects such as de­sign­ing lo­gos and web­sites,” he said.

“I use an on-screen key­board and have a reg­u­lar mouse which I con­trol us­ing my foot, click­ing with my big toe.

“I have a smart­phone be­cause it’s im­por­tant for me to have ac­cess to emails and be con­tactable when I’m away from home.”

Equip My­self is a free tablet app and is avail­able now.

Im­ran Ariff val­ues tech­nol­ogy like Equip My­self, launched ahead of In­ter­na­tional Day of Peo­ple with a Dis­abil­ity.

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