Research and Development

Hereward  has been at the forefront of using assistive technologies in teaching and learning since 1971.  Due to the diverse and complex needs of our learners, assistive technology is intrinsic to daily life, and the College has a unique training, development and research facility along with expertise in assessing for and providing a broad spectrum of assisted living and learning solutions.

Assistive technology is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as:
“… those [technologies] whose primary purpose is to maintain or improve an individual’s functioning and independence to facilitate participation and to enhance overall well-being.”

The College has been commended by external industry bodies including KNX UK and CEDIA for adapting and repurposing building management technologies as assisted living solutions.  This piece of work has been recognised as an example of outstanding practice by organisations not currently involved in the field of Assistive Technology but recognise the opportunities it presents.

Other key areas of Hereward’s experience include:

  • Expert advice for “Toward Lifehome 21” a specification for Assisted Living Housing Guidance in conjunction with the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
  • Part of the selection panel for the design and development of Renfrew’s Chair 4 Life, managing student and parent focus groups and product evaluation.
  • Comprehensive understanding of employer needs through skills and Apprenticeship provision to a wide range of care establishments.
  • Responsible for developing the first nationally recognised Vocationally Related Qualification (VRQ), City and Guilds Certificate in Supporting Users of Assistive Technology.
  • Instrumental in transferring the existing principles of the AT VRQ into appropriate qualifications within Bulgaria, Finland, Germany and Ireland.
  • Board membership of British Assistive Technology Association (BATA) – including council membership, Community Equipment Dispenser Accreditation Board and the Editorial Board of the Journal of Assistive Technologies.
  • Responsible for mapping workforce development requirements for the installation of telehealth and telecare assistive technologies, resulting in the development of a City and Guilds accredited learning module for installation personnel.
  • Expert witness services around the provision of assistive technology when pursuing a personal injury or medical negligence claim.