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Assistive Technology for Neuordivergent Therapists and Health Professionals

I am currently going through the "Access to Work" process for the second time. "Access to Work" provides funding in England to employed and self-employed people for equipment and support. From my experience supporting others through this process, I've noticed significant inconsistency in the assessment details and what gets funded. Many of my clients have found it helpful when I spend a session with them thinking through work challenges and potential solutions.

This blog aims to provide an overview of my opinion on some of the available assistive technology and how it can help.

Challenge 1: Organising Thoughts and Prioritising Information

Analogue Solution: Bullet Journal

Digital Solution: Mind Mapping Software

  • Mindview by Matchware:

  • Pros: Efficient synthesis of information, visual organisation, multiple export options.

  • Cons: Can be overwhelming to learn, software cost.

  • Link: Mindview

  • Ayoya:

  • Pros: User-friendly interface, collaboration features, integration with other tools.

  • Cons: Subscription cost, may require internet access.

  • Link: Ayoya

Challenge 2: Organising Schedule and Diary

Analogue Solution: Traditional Diary

  • Pros: No need for batteries or internet, easy to customise.

  • Cons: Easy to lose or damage, lacks reminders.

  • Description: A traditional diary helps you note when and where you need to be.

Digital Solution: Digital Calendars (Google Calendar, iCal)

  • Pros: Syncs across devices, sets reminders, easy to share.

  • Cons: Requires device and internet, potential for technical issues.

  • Description: Use the diary on your phone for convenient scheduling.

Challenge 3: Integrating Tasks into Your Schedule

Analogue Solution: Whiteboard

  • Pros: Visual, easy to update, promotes physical engagement.

  • Cons: Space-consuming, not portable.

  • Description: I use a whiteboard with sections for "To Do," "Doing," and "Done."

Smart Digital Solution: Motion

  • Pros: Automates task scheduling, integrates with calendars, AI-powered.

  • Cons: Subscription cost, learning curve.

  • Link: Motion

Challenge 4: Record Keeping

Analogue Solution: Pre-made Templates

  • Pros: Customisable, promotes organisation.

  • Cons: Requires manual updates, time-consuming.

  • Description: Create a template that works for you. In a future blog, I will discuss how to add tick boxes and drop-down menus to a Word document.

Digital Solution: Dragon Dictation Software

  • Pros: Efficient once practiced, good with accents.

  • Cons: Initial learning curve, cost.

  • Description: Dictation software can speed up note-taking and reduce errors.

  • Link: Dragon

Smart Digital Solution: AI Systems

  • Heidi Health:

  • Pros: GDPR compliant, suggests templates.

  • Cons: May require internet access, cost.

  • Link: Heidi Health

  • Everbility:

  • Pros: Compliant/ Good for therapists in Australia.

  • Cons: Not GDPR compliant, still in development.

  • Link: Everbility

Challenge 5: Forgetting Passwords

Solution: Bitwarden

  • Pros: Secure password storage, generates strong passwords, cross-platform syncing, open-source.

  • Cons: Requires internet for syncing, learning curve for non-tech-savvy users.

  • Link: Bitwarden

Challenge 6: Making Notes During CPD

Solution: Glean

  • Pros: Active note-taking, aids retention.

  • Cons: Subscription cost, requires device.

  • Link: Glean

Challenge 7: General Errors in Reading/Writing

Solution: Read&Write Software

  • Pros: Coloured overlay for reading, PDF to editable text conversion, finds sound-alikes, text-to-audio conversion.

  • Cons: Overwhelming number of features, cost.

  • Description: Useful for tracking reading, converting texts, and finding spelling errors.

  • Link: Read&Write

Solution: Grammarly

  • Pros: Improves grammar and spelling, suggests better phrasing, integrates with various platforms.

  • Cons: Requires internet access, subscription cost for premium features.

  • Link: Grammarly

Challenge 8: not reading handwriting or misplacing a notebook

Solution: Rocketbook

  • Pros: Reusable, integrates with cloud services, eco-friendly.

  • Cons: Requires special pens, must scan pages to save digitally.

  • Link: Rocketbook

Solution: reMarkable

  • Pros: Feels like writing on paper, excellent for drawing and note-taking, long battery life.

  • Cons: Expensive, limited app integrations.

  • Link: reMarkable

Challenge 9: Misplacing Important Items

Solution: Tile Tracker

  • Pros: Helps locate lost items, community find feature, easy to use.

  • Cons: Requires app and Bluetooth, battery needs replacement.

  • Link: Tile Tracker

Solution: Apple AirTags

  • Pros: Integrates seamlessly with Apple devices, precision finding, long battery life.

  • Cons: Only works with Apple devices, cost.

  • Link: Apple AirTags

By exploring these solutions, you can find the right tools to overcome common challenges in the workplace. Each option has its own set of pros and cons, and it's essential to consider what works best for your specific needs. If you would like a blog post with a step by step guide on how to use any of my suggestions comment on my social media on which you would like to know more about.

I would also love to know if there is anything you have used that could be added to this list.

Sarah is an Occupational Therapist and personal trainer who is passionate about helping people flourish @MoodLifterPT She is always happy to be contacted if you want to find out more.

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