Assistive Technological Devices
About Assistive Technological Devices (ATDs)
These are any kind of device that helps. In the case of the children with cerebral palsy, they could be chairs, standing frames, splints, crutches, wheelchairs or adapted cutlery for feeding.
Assistive equipment that is specially tailored to the needs of a child with cerebral palsy can help the child to sit or stand in a good way between physiotherapy sessions. For some children this is vital to develop skills and prevent secondary disabilities.
In many parts of Africa there are the following
•How can the travel to Hospital or workshops be managed when so often the distances are very far?
•How can specialised equipment be afforded?
•How can equipment be adapted to the needs of children with different types of cerebral palsy as well as their own individual measurements?
Hand in hand with the training for physiotherapists, Cerebral Palsy Africa is trying to facilitate locally made equipment that can be adapted to the needs of each child.
It has been found that chairs and standing frames made from recycled cardboard are easily adapted and this can even be done in the child’s home. The techniques require some training but the basic materials are simple to find; paper, cardboard and flour to make the paste.
Bevill Packer, the author of A Manual for Appropriate Paper-based Technology (APT), published by Intermediate Technology, and rehabilitation teams in Zimbabwe tried and tested the techniques in the eighties and now many people throughout the world make APT furniture.
The more people who know how to make useful items using APT, the better. They can be made far from any town or workshop. It may take time to collect the paper but sticks, buckets and other items can be used if there is not enough paper.
Therefore Cerebral Palsy Africa trains local people (sometimes themselves disabled) in the manufacture of easily made items.
UK Training Courses
Periodically, training courses are run in the UK, mostly for the manufacture of paper furniture. Details of future courses will appear here.
Learn More about ATDs
To learn more about all sorts of Assistive Technological Devices, visit the People Potential website.