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Introduction to Research Theme: Technology and Innovation

The aim of this theme is to develop Trinity Center for Ageing and Intellectual Disability (TCAID) as the national hub for Intellectual Disability Service and technology partnerships through user involvement. This is a new emerging theme within our Centre.

From the perspective of older adults with intellectual disability, we do know from IDS-TILDA, Wave 3 data that there has been little change in the low rate of engagement with technologies over the last ten years, with the majority remaining excluded, especially older adults with intellectual disabilities living in residential settings. Our initial focus of work has been to explore the relationship between communication technology use and social inclusion for older adults with intellectual disabilities. Older adults with intellectual disabilities, we have found can experience improved social inclusion outcomes, for example increased contact with family and friends (outside their residence) through engagement with technology.

Our priority is to share our research findings and recommendations to advise policy, government and practitioners, on how technology when co-created with people with intellectual disabilities and their ‘support circles’ can have a positive impact on quality life for people with intellectual disabilities as they age.

Currently we are collaborating with Intellectual Disability Service, Stewarts Care on a pilot intervention study to test the effectiveness of an assistive technology navigation app (Way2b) to improve independent travel to enhance health and social outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities in their communities.

Within this theme we are developing a range of interdisciplinary national and European projects projects. We encourage both Health and Computer Science students and professionals, Intellectual Disability Services, NGOs, technology and innovation partners interested in collaborating in innovative new co-creation projects to contact us to explore funding opportunities.

Technology and Innovation Team