We are proud to welcome AT Chat to our sponsorship family - they have joined us as a Gold Sponsor at the Perth Disability Connection Expo 2022!
AT Chat is a peer-led, co-designed community for assistive technology (AT) users to share information and lived experience about AT with each other.
AT (Assistive Technology) Chat’s mission is to deliver a mentoring service that provides the disability community with opportunities to build their AT decision making capability and share their expertise with each other and the broader community.
AT Chat started as a group of AT users interested in exploring how best to work with the community of AT users in Australia.
Today, five years on, the small, passionate West Australian team is made up of people with a variety of different abilities and diverse skill sets, dedicated to co-designing all aspects of the project to ensure that AT Chat is delivering peer-led AT information that is relevant and helpful to the community across Australia.
As well as a communications and project manager, AT Chat has a project support and engagement officer, a digital content co-ordinator, an e-Learning support officer and AT navigators along with an occupational therapist and accessibility consultant!
AT Chat is guided by the innovations of AT Chatters across the country - through their ongoing involvement and engagement, they guide the future direction of the business.
AT Chatters’ lived experience with assistive technology is vital to helping their community.
AT Chat is an initiative of Independent Living Assessment (iLA), an organisation that provides nationally competitive and individualised support, knowledge and tools that enable and enhance living well in the community.
The focus of iLA is a not-for-profit organisation focused on helping the community to make genuine and informed decisions through the provision of independent information, navigation, and capacity-building initiatives.
Its initiatives include LiveUp, AT Chat, KeepAble, Regional Assessment Services, Village Hubs Grants, NDIA Participant Engagement Panel and Sector Support and Development.
These services support people with disability, older people, carers, health professionals and the aged care sector.
AT Chat participants share their stories to help each other and use social media to keep everyone uptodate.
Co-design processes for AT Chat started in April 2017 by conducting a survey of how people with disability (PwD) in Western Australia like to access information about assistive technology.
The result overwhelmingly favoured an online interactive platform led by fellow AT users, with video being the preferred medium for content.
In response to these findings, AT Chat launched @atchatwithus on Facebook to host peer-led content and discussion about assistive technology.
AT Chat also created AT Chatterbox which is a closed Facebook group for AT users to share information, experiences and ideas around the topic of AT.
In August 2018, AT Chat conducted Think Tank sessions with the community to explore assistive technology peer mentoring. The community was overwhelmingly supportive of the creation of an AT Chat Peer Mentoring Program.
AT Chat has been co-designing the Peer Mentoring Program ever since and launched the first pilot in March 2020.
These sessions would then pave the way for the long-awaited AT Portal, Navigation program and e-learning modules.
The Portal is a free assistive technology hub designed to help PwD across Australia store their AT information, get specialised peer support, and build their knowledge.
After many years in the making, in September 2021, the AT Portal officially became live!
AT Portal is a:
Check out the free AT Chat Portal and get involved.
We can’t wait to meet the expert team and find out more about this initiative at the Perth Disability Connection Expo 2022, Sponsored by St Judes, at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on May 20 and 21.
Find out all about their exciting programs and services here!