€750,000 funding will support nine projects under the Health Service Executive’s Cooperative Real Engagement for Assistive Technology Enhancement (CREATE) initiative.

CREATE II is the second iteration of the CREATE initiative, which was initially launched in January 2022, and aims to improve access to digital and assistive technologies (DAT) that can make real changes to the day-to-day experiences of people with disabilities.

The funding announced by Ireland’s Minister of State for Disabilities, Anne Rabbitte, will enable the ongoing implementation and sustainability of selected projects.

Announcing the allocation of the funding, Minister Rabbitte said: “After seeing the positive results of the CREATE initiative, I was keen to further support the sustained development of assistive technology projects that I know are having a meaningful impact on people with disabilities.

“Digital and Assistive Technologies enable people with disabilities to live more independent lives and I am proud of having the opportunity to help progress this initiative.

“There is such scope to invest and support the development of assistive technology programme and initiatives, and it is certainly an area I will be looking to fund further in 2024.”

CREATE projects support people across all age ranges with sensory, cognitive, physical, and intellectual disabilities, enabling them to contribute to their communities through work, leisure, and most importantly, through social participation.

Dr Rosemary Gowran, HSE Clinical Lead National Clinical Programme for People with Disability, commented: “Assistive Technology is a gateway to enhancing health, inclusion, wellbeing and participation. The National Clinical Programme for People with Disability, working to support the implementation of the UNCRPD, is delighted that funding has been made available to support an implementation phase of Digital and Assistive Technology demonstrator projects funded in CREATE I in 2021.

“The intention of CREATE II, is to support the implementation CREATE I Digital and Assistive Technology demonstrator projects, connecting commonalities at local, regional and national levels toward long-term delivery and sustainability of assistive technology service innovations. One of the key aims of the CREATE initiative is to enable organisations to work collaboratively, to stimulate greater assistive technology systems improvements across sectors and in doing so make a significant contribution to Digital and Assistive Technology.”

A new digital health plan to improve people’s health experiences was launched at the Health Service Executive ‘Better Together for Digital Healthcare’ conference in December 2023.

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