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Paediatric Powered Mobility Workshop 1/11/13

By Paul Nisbet on Thursday 3rd October, 2013 at 5:57pm

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Bobath Scotland are running a one day workshop on Powered Mobility for children, led by Ros Livingston and Debbie Field. This is a great opportunity to think and learn about both the evidence base for paediatric powered mobilty and it's importance for children's development and education, and also how to assess for appropriate mobility aids, train users, and measure progress.

Ros previously worked in an Edinburgh special school and with Debbie is now working in Vancouver in Canada. They will be presenting at the European Seating Symposium so save yourself the cost of attending the conference and go to Bobath instead! Read more here, and download the booking form here.

(I was involved with developing the CALL Smart Wheelchair many moons ago and our research showed that powered mobility can have a really powerful impact on opportunities for engagement and on motivation, so I'm very enthusiastic about getting young people mobile - see the Smart Chair pages for a little more information.) 



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Looking forward to the Family Fun Day 2012!

By Paul Nisbet on Thursday 22nd March, 2012 at 10:00am

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We're gearing up for the Family Fun Day which will be held here in CALL this Saturday March 24th. The Fun Day is a day of general mayhem where children and their families have a chance to try out lots of different technology and activities in an informal way. The day is staffed by CALL, FACCT, KeyComm, SCTCI, TASSCC and their friends, families, relatives, mates and anyone else who happens to be passing. There appear to be 184 children and young people and their families coming (eek!) to play with toys, switches, computers, video games, smart wheelchairs etc and to make art, music, cakes, and a most satisfying all round mess. Take a look at this video that Craig made last year to see the sort of thing that is going to be happening......


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Family Fun Technology Day, 2011

By Allan Wilson on Tuesday 5th April, 2011 at 5:38pm

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Around 150 children and parents attended the recent Family Fun Technology Day, held at CALL. Staff from the various Augmentative Communication in Practice: Scotland centres and other volunteers were on hand to demonstrate various examples of the use of communication aids and other assistive technology to help children with additional support needs and to lead various 'fun' activities.

Visitors were able to try lots of switch activated toys and games and had a chance to find out about the wide range of communication aids now available, including eye gaze systems. Lots of computer software was demonstrated and parents were able to take away CDs with free software provided by Pass IT On. There were lots of 'fun' activities, including treasure hunts (with prizes!), cake decorating, Smart Wheelchair rides and music workshops.

Parents were able to see how projects like Books for All could bring real benefits for children with additional support needs and were able to ask specialist staff lots of questions about the use of computer technology.

What people liked

Feedback about the day from the people who attended was very positive. This is what people liked:

  • "Opportunity to chat with professionals and families."
  • "Kids activities with robots being controlled by Springboard Lite, cake decorating, etc."
  • "Eye Gaze, Music"
  • "The whole family had things to do and enjoy. It was perfect."
  • "Trying new toys and games which we can now consider buying / using at home. Music group was very good."

There are more pictures of the day, and a short video to watch on the Augmentative Communication in Practice: Scotland web site.


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CALL helps the University of Edinburgh celebrate 40 years of commercialisation

By Paul Nisbet on Friday 4th December, 2009 at 4:13pm

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Prince Philip talking to Paul Nisbet next to the Smart Wheelchair.

The University of Edinburgh celebrated 40 years of commercialisation with an exhibition and reception in the Playfair library on November 16th 2009. The Smart Wheelchair was Mr (or should that be Miss?) 1987 - the year when we started work on the first protoype. The event was attended by His Royal Highness (HRH) Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who had a narrow escape from being run over while watching the Smart Wheelchair following the track around the stand. The Duke remarked that a big problem with wheelchairs is the low height of the seat, which he said is a bit of an issue at cocktail parties: I'm not sure there's much of a market for a cocktail-shaking Smart Wheelchair with powered elevating seat but who knows, I'll add it to the wish list....

The DVD and booklet produced to mark the occasion feature the Smart Wheelchair and also CALLTalk, the communication vocabulary developed by Sally Millar and Janet Larcher. Thanks to Derek Waddell, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) from Edinburgh Research and Innovation Limited (ERI), for inviting us to the event. A video report is available and CALL's work was also featured in the latest edition of Infinite, ERI's annual review.


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