What is AT Chat?
What is AT Chat?
AT Chat is a peer-led, co-designed community for assistive technology (AT) users to share information and lived experience about AT.
AT Chat's Mission
AT Chat’s mission is to deliver a peer-led information and mentoring service that provides our community with the opportunity to build their AT decision making capability and share their expertise with each other and the broader community.
History of AT Chat
AT Chat started as a group of AT users interested in exploring how best to work with the community of AT users in Australia. We commenced our co-design processes in April 2017 by conducting a survey of how people with disability (PwD) in Western Australia like to access information about assistive technology.
The result overwhelmingly favoured an online interactive platform led by fellow AT users, with video being the preferred medium for content.
In response to these findings AT Chat launched @atchatwithus on Facebook to host peer-led content and discussion about assistive technology. We also created AT Chatterbox which is a closed Facebook group for AT users to share information, experiences and ideas around the topic of AT.
In August 2018, AT Chat conducted Think Tank sessions with the community to explore assistive technology peer mentoring. The community was overwhelmingly supportive of the creation of an AT Chat Peer Mentoring Program. AT Chat has been co-designing the Peer Mentoring Program ever since and launched the first pilot in March 2020.
These sessions would then pave the way for the long-awaited AT Portal, Navigation program and e-learning modules. The Portal us a free assistive technology hub designed to help PwD across Australia store their AT information, get specialised peer support, and build their knowledge.
The co-design journey of the AT Portal and Navigator service began more than three years ago and involved hundreds of PwD and AT Chat’s research partner Dr Natasha Layton (WHO, Monash Uni.) AT Chat’s co-design ethos ensured the portal, and the Navigator service are a holistic, person focused, AT decision-making support model that is based on three building blocks of evidence: co-design, a peer support model and research.
The AT Portal is the central hub where PwD can search through more than 15,000 products via the National Equipment Database (NED) and store the information about the make, model, and service schedule of each piece of technology.
The AT Portal, Navigators and the e-Learning platform will offer PwD a free space to journey, navigate, and discover the world of AT, and build their capacity to make informed decisions.
AT Chat is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services through an Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Grant, and this gives us the capacity to deliver these initiatives free-of-charge to the community.
After many years in the making, in September 2021, the AT Portal officially became live! Watch the video below, and for an audio described version, click here.
AT Chat is an initiative of iLA. Established in January 2020, iLA (formerly known as Independent Living Assessment) has a focus to support people through assessment, navigation and sector capacity building initiatives. Our services support people with disability, older people, carers, health professionals and the aged care sector.
iLA's Values are important to us and shape what we do
Our Values reflect the people we hire. The Values of Passion, Integrity, Embracing and Authentic connects us one step at a time.
Our Vision is a community in which all abilities are valued, where people have the knowledge, tools and confidence to participate.
Our Purpose is enhancing health and wellbeing by connecting the community with trusted knowledge and expertise.