International Day of Persons with Disabilities: Technology

Blog image technology

*Image by Kate Ter Haar, copyright protected.

December the 3rd is International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a UN recognised day. A blog, by our Communications Assistant, about what this year's theme means for mental health and work support.

Although we have achieved a lot when it comes to attitudes, rights and laws linked with disability, we still have a way to go. Addressing the gaps that still exist, is what this day is about. 

The theme for this year is, Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology. Part of this is looking at how technology can be used for better participation and inclusion at home, in society and at work. For people with mental health problems there are now many apps, resources and online support tools. 

For work support, technology has been useful with easier access to job advertisements, company websites and tips for getting into or staying at work. The internet has enabled people to share stories that can be a great source of support and comfort.. knowing you’re not alone.

We should be excited about the use of technology and what discussions come out of this year’s theme. But, it’s important to be cautious. Technology can have a negative impact on mental health and many people can't or don't want to use it.

The amount of information available can be overwhelming or worrying when you can’t discuss it with someone.

In the end not a lot beats face-to-face support, even if it’s just saying “how are you?” Our Employment Advisors find that understanding and using technology is vital but the real support comes from one-to-one sessions which are tailored to the goals and skills of the person.

New treatments based on technology are being developed as we speak. Virtual reality treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder, apps to measure mood or computer games to tackle phobia… to name a few. Not to mention the possibilities that technology opens for research in areas like brain imaging or genetics.  

So, when it comes to technology have you found any great examples? Especially in-work supports or job seeking tools.

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