Our Mission Statement
To enable people across their life course - especially those who have been marginalized - to achieve well-being in their preferred ways; through the development and application of appropriate technologies, person-centred systems and evidence-based policies and laws, that empower users and those supporting them.
Why we are unique
While some members of the Institute have a practitioner background, our nationally and globally distinctive feature as an Institute is in developing the interface between the user of technologies and the broader societal infrastructure required to make this use beneficial. This interface is where some of the most exciting and empowering developments will occur in the coming decades.
The era of Assisting
With longer-living populations, there is a clear need to embrace the concept of “assistive”. Whilst retaining ideas of promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative, and palliative services and care; assistive technologies, assistive services and assistive independent living, will become perhaps the defining features of life over the next few decades. In recognition of this, the World Health Organisation have established the Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology (GATE) programme; to promote living in and through more inclusive communities. ALL Institute has a close link with GATE, particularly through Prof MacLachlan - Director of ALL - who is also Research & Innovation Coordinator for GATE.
Assisting reaches beyond the idea of assistive technology alone; embracing the user, their supporters and where appropriate, their carers. It also embraces the ethos of volunteering and community engagement, especially for marginalized people. Assisting is about the interface between assistive and related technologies, those who use them, and those who assist the users.
How we define what we do
Assisting Living refers to helping people who may be challenged by disability, chronic illness, frailty or cognitive decline; impairments that may be associated with aging; or those marginalized from the benefits of mainstream society; to benefit from the equitable application of technological, personal, community and societal initiatives, that assist and enable them to live a full life as valued participants of their community.
Assisting Learning refers to applying this ethos to removing barriers to accessing and benefiting from education - especially third level education.
An Assistive Product is “any product (including devices, equipment, instruments, and software), either specially designed and produced or generally available, whose primary purpose is to maintain or improve an individual’s functioning and independence and thereby promote their wellbeing” (Khasnabis et al., 2015).).
Assistive Technology systems refer to “the development and application of organised knowledge, skills, procedures, and policies relevant to the provision, use, and assessment of assistive products” (Khasnabis et al., 2015).
Well-being is a positive sense of health and living, something that is both an individual and collective good. We look to science, broadly defined, to support well-being and to provide an appropriate evidence base to inform policy and practice, as well as to develop novel techniques, interventions and technologies to positively enhance life.
We are committed to a systems approach in all areas of our work, which means understanding the interplay of different factors that influence the relationship between persons and their contexts, between persons, and between technology and the person using that technology. These include, but are not limited to, local human and financial resources, and social and cultural processes, through the nature of formal and informal service provision. Such configurations, of course, vary in scale and between contexts, but also (sometimes radically) within settings themselves. We are committed to the full range of research methods and cross-disciplinary approaches in order to understand how people really think and behave with regard to their sense of wellbeing, as well as the ways that they seek out care/support, and, in turn, how appropriate technology helps them in this quest.
Our Mission Statement