“If the event has enabled people to be better informed about the range of assistive technology, equipment and services that are available to help them, then in my eyes, the event has been successful.”
The first ATSA Independent Living Expo to take place in Perth has been acclaimed a success by organisers, exhibitors and visitors alike.
Held at the Claremont Showground from May 30-31, the event, which was supported by the Independent Living Centre WA (ILCWA), attracted more than 800 allied health professionals and visitors.
Speaking to F2L after the event, ATSA executive officer, David Sinclair said it is a privilege for ATSA to be able to support the sector with these free events to the public and health professionals.
“Again the ATSA Independent Living Expos were a tremendous success,” he said. “The two events provided just over 60 educational presentations and workshops which were well attended and often filled to overflowing.
“We look forward to seeing you at the ATSA Independent Living Expos in 2019 to be held in Sydney, Brisbane, and with iCreate in Canberra.”
Steve Glew, CEO of the expo’s principle supporter ILCWA, said the first ATSA Independent Living Expo in Perth exceeded expectations from many perspectives.
“Having such a vast range of both high and low level assistive technology under one roof, as well as an informative and engaging conference program, meant there was something for everyone at the expo,” he said. “We received a lot of positive feedback over the two days, ranging from how amazing it was to have the event in WA, to how great it was to have such choice under one roof.
“If the event has enabled people to be better informed about the range of assistive technology, equipment and services that are available to help them, then in my eyes, the event has been successful. I would like to congratulate ATSA on the success of the expo. The ILC is proud to have been the principal supporter of this event.”
More than 70 exhibitors participated in the event, including many local small businesses, international manufacturers and a number of not-for-profit organisations. Interpoint Events managing director Simon Cooper said the show’s strong attendance is testament to the breadth of education and technology resources available.
“The ATSA Independent Living Expos have become the largest display of assistive technology equipment and services in Australia,” said Cooper. “The strong attendance this year with more than 2500 allied health professionals and occupational therapists at Melbourne and more than 850 in Perth is testament to the breadth of education and technology resources available, free of charge, for all. The ATSA shows have become the leading AT events in Australia.”
The expo’s two day seminar program addressed a wide range of issues with a consumer and paediatric focus including selecting the right wheelchairs, assistive technology, pressure care, mattress selection and postural support devices.
There were some crowd pullers amongst the workshops including Sandra Malkin from Fiona Stanley Hospital who spoke about the clinical factors that need to be considered when setting up complex specialty input devices for users of power wheelchairs.
Danielle Loizou-Lake and Joscelyn Franciscus also attracted a number of people to their seminar, which focused on the peer led disability group AT Chat, a new project demonstrating the potential of peer-led information sharing around assistive technology (AT). Launched by the ILCWA, the initiative is changing the way people with disability access advice and information on AT.
“AT Chat was created by people with disability, for people with disability. It is an online community where people with disability can learn and share information about AT from other users. We believe that AT Chat is a true example of changing how we provide information and advice around assistive technology.”
Another popular presentation came from Christopher and Garry Hills, who shared with audience how their journey with cerebral palsy had been impacted by technology. Using videos and live demonstrations, Christopher demonstrated how he runs a business; produces, shoots and edits video; communicates with his global network of friends and colleagues, and automates his home for independent living.
Congratulations to the Award Winners
Another highlight of the show was the inaugural exhibitor and speaker awards, which were presented at an exhibitor networking reception on Wednesday 30 May.
Congratulations to the following:
- Small Stand Award: TADWA (Technology Assisting Disability WA)
- Large Stand Award: Permobil
- Best Exhibitor Marketing Campaign: UniCare
- Most attended conference session: Sandra Malk
The winner of the inaugural Best New Product Awards went to the OrCam My Eye 2.0 from Quantum Reading Learning Vision. Click here for more on this story.