Modern technology opens great opportunities for participation and improved quality of life for elderly and persons with disabilities. However, many persons in these groups do not use the technology to its full potential; some of them do not use it at all.
Studies have shown that the user’s problems are not primarily to get hold of ICT equipment. Instead, the user’s needs are to have access to good advice and support to configure and use the devices the way he or she wants.
Project to develop an affordable and accessible ICT support
SIAT, Swedish Institute of Assistive Technology has recently started a two year’s project to develop an affordable and accessible ICT support for these groups.
Three geographical areas in Sweden have been selected for the project. Anyone in these areas of age over 65, or with a disability can use the service. Transcom Sweden, with long experience of ICT support via telephone, will serve as a call centre. Their staff has been trained by disability experts to better understand user needs and the use of assistive devices.
There are no restrictions regarding what kind of questions you can raise. You may ask about your computer, about computer software, accessories, your camera or mobile or perhaps your stereo or TV equipment, in fact, you can ask about anything regarding ICT in your home. You may even ask for an advice when considering the purchase of a new device.
The overall goal of the project is to build up a nation-wide service. Different models for financing a sustainable support service will be analyzed and the best solution will be proposed for implementation.
The trial is carried out to collect information about users’ needs and to what extent a telephone support service can meet these needs, and in that way encourage increased use of ICT.
The project has a wide network of partners. Organisations from the disability movement and from pensioners’ organisations participate.
The Swedish Post and Telecom Agency, PTS, the Federation of Call Centres in Sweden and the software producer Microsoft are also part of the project network.
Lars Johansson, + 46 8 620 18 22, email@example.com.