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Stuart Barrow, Promoting Independence

With assistive technology more advanced than ever, healthcare professionals and their clients have an incredible amount of choice. But how do you know what and what not to invest in?

I started studying as an OT twenty years ago, graduating in 2002.

And whilst the premise of the job has remained the same in the last two decades, so much of it has changed, just like in other healthcare areas.

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The reason for that change?

The rapid growth of technology.

We can now recommend things for our clients that we’d never have dreamt of in 1999, and, as a result, can access a myriad of assistive technology that makes their lives a lot easier.

But, how do you know which tech to invest in, and which to avoid?

It’s a question without an easy answer.  After all, when you’re doing the ‘day to day’, it’s not exactly easy to travel to specific retailers and manufacturers to try things out, and although the marketing material you can request from those companies is helpful, it’s nothing compared to actually experiencing a product in the flesh.

In truth, that’s one of the principal reasons why I started the Occupational Therapy Adaptation Conference (OTAC) back in 2015.

OTAC was designed to bridge the gap between the healthcare professional and the suppliers of equipment and technology, allowing OTs and others to make better educated decisions for their clients, and allowing the suppliers to get fantastic new products out there.

We’ve been going four years now and we’ve steadily added and refined each event to ensure that it delivers maximum value.

So, in 2020, OTAC is going to be one of the very best places for healthcare professionals to access assistive technology, helping you to make the right decisions for you and your clients.

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Here’s just some of what you can expect:

500 exhibitors across ten events

We’re running ten events across England and Wales (Scotland and NI news coming very soon), and we’ll have 500 exhibitors at them.

This means that whatever assistive tech you’re interested in finding out more about, the chances are you’ll get your opportunity to do that at OTAC.

And with an average of 400 delegates at each event, you’ll have a great opportunity to talk to fellow professionals and get their take on the tech that’s working for them in their context.

Brand new seminars and training

We’ll have seminars at every single event, with hundreds of hours of CPD-applicable knowledge on offer and plenty of opportunities to see up close assistive tech.

We’ll cover topics like ‘returning to work’, ‘prison environments’ and ‘adaptations’, as well as focusing on specific rooms and the adaptations and technology to help in each area, whether kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or living space.

“OTAC was designed to bridge the gap between the healthcare professional and the suppliers of equipment and technology, allowing OTs and others to make better educated decisions for their clients, and allowing the suppliers to get fantastic new products out there.”

I’m also delighted that stairlift and patient handling specialist Handicare will be delivering training at each event next year, so you’ll get an opportunity to see their products first-hand.

Poster presentations

There’ll be a variety of poster presentations at each event, many of them focused on assistive technology as well as other useful topics related to the healthcare sector.

Adaptations Without Delay Training

You’ll likely be familiar with the Adaptations Without Delay document that launched in 2019 that now shapes the assessment framework, and we’ll have specific training on that at each event, run by authors of the document and supported by special guests and an expert in Healthcare Law and Ethics expert (yours truly)!

In short, we’re more committed to promoting assistive technology than ever before, and we’ve deliberately ensured that OTAC 2020 serves to make people aware of the tech on offer, as well as educating and upskilling them on it too.

To book your free ticket to your local OTAC event, just visit www.otac.org.uk


Don’t forget…

To pick up your free copy of AT Today at any of the OTAC events throughout the year. You can read the online version of the latest issue of AT Today here 

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