Hft is a major provider of services for people with learning disabilities in England and a registered charity. Hft has a long and continuous history of developing innovative approaches to the delivery of its services. One of the significant innovation areas that Hft has been instrumental in developing is the systems, business case and uses of personalised technology (PT). The definition of PT is not restrictive and includes telecare, environmental controls, communication aids, and prompting devices, using simple and complex, mainstream and specialist technology-based solutions. Hft is an internationally recognised leader in using technology to support people with learning disabilities.
Hft’s approach and use of technology is recognised as being applicable to other vulnerable groups. This has been highlighted by Hft’s involvement – as a lead partner – in the Technology Strategy Board (now Innovate UK) funded Mi (More Independent) dallas (delivering assisted living lifestyles at scale) programme, led by Liverpool CCG. This translated Hft’s use of PT solutions to other vulnerable groups in multiple populations.
Hft is also an advisor to Entelis (European Network for Technology Enhanced Learning in an Inclusive Society) – a European Social Fund project led by an Italian based assessment agency. The project is looking at extending the network and training opportunities in assistive technology across Europe.
Previously, Hft led an equal II ESF funded project – TATE (through assistive technology to employment – 2004-2008). This project aimed to support people with learning disabilities to find employment, through the use of personalised technology.
Job titleInnovation Manager
To provide expertise in maximising the benefits of using assistive technology (which Hft calls personalised technology (PT)) from a service provider perspective, as well as delivering training in assistive technology at a variety of levels and in a wide range settings.
Sarah Weston is the Innovation Manager at Hft. Her role involves working to develop strategies and raise the profile of Hft’s work around assistive technology and how it can enhance the lives of people with learning disabilities. Sarah also works on developing partnerships and opportunities to extend Hft’s work around assistive technology and how technology-based solutions can be applied to other audiences – including through the Mi dallas project, run by Liverpool CCG, which aims to raises awareness of the opportunities offered by self-care, using a cultural shift and technology-based solutions. Prior to this, Sarah worked in public relations and press office management for a number of UK-wide charities, including the Soil Association and Parkinson’s UK, as well as working for Hft as their public relations manager between 2012-13.