The Disabled Living Foundation (aka “the DLF”) ran a great webinar on 24th February describing their recently-AI-enhanced search engine capable of searching their catalogue of 10,000 assisted living aids in the blink of an eye to find the perfect one for (almost) any situation. Presentations included practical experience of using AskSARA.

A range of service providers from across the UK spoke about their experiences in providing online practical advice about assistive technology. Speakers highlighted the importance of reaching older and disabled people and their carers and the role of self-assessment as a solution to fast adoption of assistive technology solutions at home.

Online impartial advice that can lead to self-funded purchasing of simple aids for delivery at home has come into its own during the pandemic cutting through waiting lists and ensuring that limited resources are deployed against those with complex needs.

The format for the event was:

09:45 Charles, CEO DHACA: Introduction

09:50 Melanie Poyser Partnership Manager Greater London: the history of DLF , the Hamilton Index and the development of AskSARA. Her presentation is here

10:05 Chris Humphreys, Head of Adult and Community Services, Newport CC: Newport was due to present on the first Welsh AskSARA and the pan-Gwent project; relevance to policy, legislation and service delivery in Wales however his council’s IT system prevented him connecting with the KSS AHSN

10:15 Alison Docherty, EquipU Partnership Greater Glasgow and Clyde: The EquipU Partnership and the role of AskSARA within service delivery across the Partnership; how this links to maximising independence and Housing. Her presentation is here.

10:25 Kate Bowman, Newcastle City Council Information and Advice Service: The development of Information Now – information and advice for prevention, new ways of working. Her presentation is here

10:35 Rachel Russel, Calderdale, was due to speak on the Adaptations without Delay report and how AskSARA can support service transformation, though was unable to attend.

10:45 Louise Lapworth, Warwickshire County Council: reaching older and disabled people in the community, promoting the use of AskSARA. Here presentation is here.

10:55 All DLF and commissioners: Q and A

11:05 Guy Boersma, CEO Kent Surrey & Sussex AHSN Summing up

11:15 End

A recording of the event is here.