Independence v/s Interdependence
Assistive Technology doesn’t just enable People with Disabilities to lead a better quality life but also supports the family and caregivers who assist them.
A caregiver or a personal attendant is a professional who assists a Person with Disability across their life span in carrying out daily activities. These can include providing support at home, work and anywhere else required.
Depending on the level of support required, the role of a caregiver may range from a short span of time like a few hours, to a whole day, especially for people with high support needs. This is derived from a personalized care plan which is made in accordance with the individual’s needs.
Assistive Technology provides enhanced support to the care seeker, by lowering the amount of time, effort, the difficulty of the activity and the safety risk, especially for activities that require physical effort. When understanding the level of support which is required for Persons with Disabilities, it is vital to demystify the term ‘independence’. The profession of caregiving or Assistive Technology pulls us into thinking that only People with Disabilities are dependent in compared to the non-disabled.
Here is a video of Disability rights activist Denise Lance questioning society’s emphasis on independence, especially for those with disabilities, considering interdependence which points to the way of life.