Enable Ireland along with the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) are organising the country’s first FreedomTech event. 

Gillian Murphy tells us more.

When and where is it on? 

16th November Aviva Stadium, Dublin.

How many years has it been going? 

This is the first year the Assembly will be held.

What was the inspiration to start it? 

This event is inspired and informed by the publication by Enable Ireland and the DFI of ‘Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities and Older People: A Discussion Paper’ in November 2016. It will be of interest to anyone with a curiosity or a passion for Assistive Technology (AT).

What exciting things can people look forward to for the 2017 version? 

We have an exceptional line-up of local and international speakers including:
• Hector Minto: Microsoft’s Technical Evangelist for Accessibility
• David Banes: International AT Consultant
• Stephen Cluskey: Co-founder, Mobility Mojo and Disability Advocate

What opportunities are on offer for those attending? 

Attendees will hear about the latest exciting accessibility innovations from Microsoft: the integration of Eye Tracking in Windows 10, as well as learning about international trends in both technology and service delivery from David Banes, international AT consultant. They will also get to hear first hand from AT users in Ireland: What works? What doesn’t? And What would make a big difference to people with disabilities, so that they can live the lives of their own choosing.

What tips would you give to people attending to get the most out of it? 

Bring your experience, whether as a user of assistive technology or as a professional in the field; be willing to share your expertise and be open to disruptive ways of thinking about how we can build a better support system for people with disabilities and older people.

How can people book tickets / when does it usually sell out?

Tickets can be booked here: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/freedomtech-a-passport-toinclusion-tickets-36144079916 and cost €75.00. Concessionary tickets are also available.

Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked? 

Technology is getting cheaper and better all the time. Over 60% of technology used by people costs less than €1,000. We believe that if more people had easy access to information about AT, they would be better positioned to be proactive about addressing their own AT needs. This would mean greater participation in education, in employment and in their communities. As Ireland now has an unemployment rate close to 5%, never has it been more timely to promote better access to technology in the workplace and in education so that people with disabilities can reap the rewards of our recovering economy too.

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