Naidex, Europe’s most established disability, rehabilitation and independent living event is taking shape.
The BATA partner show will return to the Birmingham NEC on April 25 and 26 for a 44th edition which promises to be the best yet, say the organisers.
BATA will be there on stand 5160. Register for your FREE ticket here.
Hosting some of the world’s latest assistive technologies, Naidex offers visitors the chance to meet over 300 world class exhibitors including BATA members DH2 Solutions and Sensory Guru.
This year’s seminar agenda is also full of top speakers including:
Sarah Newton, the Minister of State for Disabled People Work and Health
Paul Bepey, Accessibility Lead at the BBC
Heather Fraser, Global Lead for Life Sciences and Healthcare at the IBM Institute for Business Value
Samantha Payne, Co-Founder of Open Bionics
Nasser Siabi, CEO of MicrolinkPC
DSA Summit hits a high note
The future of the Disabled Students Allowances (DSA) was the topic of discussion last month when 30 BATA members met at Northampton University to hammer out a strategy to ensure modernisation of the grant scheme did not disadvantage students or deprive them of vital AT.
Issues raised included the £200 charge, student choice, functional specification of technology, accreditation of trainers, raising awareness of AT in institutions, relationships and partnerships. Strategies were discussed and actions agreed in all of the areas. Turn to our website to read a full account of the meeting.
Help us reach our £3,000 target for awareness raising projects
Members are putting the association on the map, literally. On Sunday September 10 they will be setting out on a 25km sponsored walk in Derbyshire’s Peak District from Bakewell, via Ashford in the Water to Tideswell and finally Ashwood, the initial letters of the four places spelling out BATA . Your support would be much appreciated and will help our work of advancing the cause of assistive technology. You can sponsor us via the Just Giving website and also join us on the walk through some of England’s finest countryside.
Can you help make the Government’s online services more accessible?
A company called Access2Digital is looking for people who use AT to test a new digital service being developed by the Government Digital Service. The company is looking for people who use software including JAWS, VoiceOver, NVDA, Dragon NaturallySpeaking, Supernova and ZoomText. Test sessions last an hour, can be done at home and are paid at the rate of £60 per hour. The next session is on September 14. Contact Elodie Bocquet at email@example.com
Vision impairment special interest group
Do you work in AT for vision impairment sector? Members are invited to join our latest special interest group and contribute to efforts to resolve some of the more pressing problems that affect those operating in this sector. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance.
This summer Brain-in-Hand and Specialty Risks are the latest organizations to join us. Welcome.
Sheffield hosts AAATE Congress
The 2017 Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe Congress is a five-day event about assistive technologies that takes place from September 11-15. The main Conference will be from 13-14th September and satellite events are running on the other three days at venues in Sheffield.
Visit our stand at the TES/SEN Show
We will be spreading the word about BATA at the TES/SEN Show in London on October 6 and 7. This important free-to-attend event has all the resources, ideas, advice and CPD training to provide teachers, SENCOs, support staff and parents with the tools and skills to help their pupils achieve.
ATEC moves to London
Many members have already booked for ATEC’s November 23 conference and exhibition in London. ATEC is a series of national and regional events designed to support practitioners involved in service delivery, research or policy development in assistive technology, showcasing excellence in assistive technology that removes barriers to learning and work.
Members will be meeting this month to discuss ways in which Disabled Students’ Allowances can be made to work better for students and AT providers.
The DSA Summit – taking place at the Sunley Conference Centre, Northampton University, between 10.00am and 1.00pm on July 25th – is a chance for members with an interest in higher education to make their voice heard.
In recent years BATA has provided significant input into the Government’s efforts to modernise DSA. So, with a new administration in place and still more decisions to be made about future support for students, the time is right to review progress and map a strategy for BATA to get the best possible deal on AT for disabled students.
Email email@example.com if you have suggestions for the agenda. Members can book a place here.
Strategy Group sets up shop
We have now set up a Strategy Special Interest Group (SIG) to support our engagement with bodies such as the All-Party Parliamentary Group for AT (APPG for AT), Government Departments and other public bodies who regularly consult us. If you would like to join this SIG please let us know by email.
BATA is a founder member of the APPG for AT and the Group is planning an assistive technology day next year to provide a forum for members to demonstrate their technology in a parliamentary setting. The event will give parliamentarians the opportunity to use and learn about the AT that’s available in a fun and interactive way. It is also a vehicle to gain wider publicity and promote awareness within parliament.
David Atkinson’s Vatican audience
During a recent trip to Italy our treasurer David Atkinson was invited by an old friend to brief the Vatican, which plays a major role in supporting disabled people in Italy, on the UK’s approach to assistive technology. Read David’s account of his extraordinary trip here.
Guide for vision-impaired pupils
Myles Pilling, BATA Council member has been working on a project with Graham Newman on a set of help guides to enable classroom teachers become aware of the needs of vision-impaired pupils. These guides will be published to all schools in the UK with the approval of teacher’s unions. The information explains how to make simple adjustments to ensure pupils with macular degeneration are given the best support to access the curriculum. Eleven subjects are covered from the core subjects of Maths, Science and English to Sports and School Trips. The guides will be appearing in schools from September 2017.
VAT guidelines approved
HMRC has now approved the guidance for VAT drafted by BATA’s Ian Litterick. The guidance, which contains advice for both suppliers and HMRC officers, makes it clear for the first time that mobile devices can be sold zero-rated for VAT, if they meet certain conditions. We are waiting to hear from HMRC about implementation timescales. Ian Litterick’s company Iansyst is acting on the new advice now. Read the guidelines here.
Second network event in the pipeline
During the last couple of years, more universities have created the role of an assistive technology specialist. Many of those in this new role are working in isolation from one another.
To support these individuals in developing their own professional network Gemma Holtam, BATA council member, and Rob McLaren, assistive technology officer, ADSHE, are hosting a number of networking and ideas sharing days.
Their first event took place on the 2nd June at the University College London and focused on the role on the common challenges that assistive technology specialists face and how these can be overcome.
There was also a panel discussion on the future of this role. Among the speakers were Alistair McNaught of JISC, Sal Cooke OBE from BATA, and Adam Hyland, representing Diversity and Ability.
With the help of sponsorship from TextHelp, Notetalker, Scanning Pens and Sonocent, the day provided a valuable opportunity to share good practice and ideas, and a second event is planned for December.
A warm welcome to new member Dyslexia Box.
As a BATA member are you concerned about support for disabled students? If so join our DSA Summit on July 25 between 10.00am and 1.00pm at Sunley Conference Centre, Northampton.
In recent years BATA has provided significant input into the Government’s moves to modernise Disabled Students’ Allowances. With a new administration in place and still more decisions to be made about future support for students, the time is right to review progress and map a strategy for BATA to get the best possible deal on AT for disabled students.
Your help in setting the agenda for the Summit would be much appreciated. Do let me have your ideas in advance by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. To reserve your place please use this link.