Project information

Taking Control with Technology

We can empower disabled people with technology – iPads and accessible software – to be fully in control of planning/organising the support they need in their life.

An iPad and app to manage their own support – when, where, with whom – their support budget and hence achieve positive outcomes.

January 2011 - January 2014

Charity information

Carr Gomm

Carr Gomm logo
  • Need


    It is an important human need to feel you have control and as much choice as possible in your life. Many people with disabilities see this eroded by traditional support services: often told what they can have and when; drastically reducing confidence and self esteem, and making it difficult to feel valued by society.


    We shall design an iPad app that enables people to utilise their personal support budget to plan and manage their support visits in order to achieve their outcomes.

    Each person will use the app to choose when they want support, by whom, to do what. The app shall integrate with our existing management information system.

    The iPad will be given to the person for the duration of their support and hence can be used by the person for anything else that they want to use it for.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Develop an iPad application to manage individual support.


    » Work in partnership with Intrelate Ltd to design, test and build the application according to an agreed specification and budget.

    Success will be...The software delivered on-time and on budget.

    Aim 2

    Involve people we support in the design and in a pilot phase.


    » Identify interested people with a personal support budget from a variety of backgrounds willing and able to participate in the pilot.

    Success will be...Between three and ten people we support taking part in a pilot to influence the design of the app.

    Aim 3

    Build upon the pilot phase to support 100 people.


    » Learn from the pilot and adapt the app as required to provide a tool for people to use to manage their own support

    Success will be...100 people using the app by January 2014.

  • Impact


    This project shall increase the choice and control that disabled people have over their personal support, leading to improved health and wellbeing; as a side effect people at the margins of society shall have greater access to technology.

    We shall monitor the number of people using the app, managing their support and achieving their outcomes: success would be 100 people using the app and feeling more in control of their support than they were previously.


    Developing software is a risk: managed by using skilled and experienced workers and a partner with a proven ability to deliver on time and on budget.

    Using technology is a risk: managed by already using this technology in our organisation.

    People not wanting to use iPads is a risk: but we have trialled iPads with people at our AGM and other events and know that this is a great attraction.


    A benchmarking interview exercise repeated after 3, 6 and 12 months.
    Measure support slots booked, changed and successfully completed – this shall provide an indicator of usage and hence success.
    Investigate why people choose to stop using the iPad and create action plans to learn from this.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £195,860

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £59,900 Hardware 100 (3G & Wi Fi) iPads over 3 years
      £40,800 Mobile Connectivity 3G connections paid over 3 years for 100 iPads
      £20,313 Staff Costs Partial cost of one worker for 3 years
      £16,450 Software Design, testing, project management and delivery of accessible software
      £58,397 This application This application is for the first year software cost only

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Scottish Government £195,861 Guaranteed
  • Background


    We would work with people across all of Scotland, although would initially focus on people living in Edinburgh, East Lothian and Midlothian.


    People allocated a direct payment or control of their social care budget: including people with mental health problems, learning or physical disabilities, autism and older people. It would be particularly useful for people with communication difficulties. People we support are generally on very low incomes or benefits.

    Initially we would work alongside a small group from different backgrounds and learn from this experience to develop the solution and then increase the availability to anyone.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are innovative and forward-thinking: supporting people to address barriers in their lives.

    Our Muirhouse service was established to support six young people with profound learning and physical disabilities to live independently in their own rather than institutional nursing care: we have successfully supported these people for ten years.

    In 2009, we invested in an information system (Carista) to streamline our organisation. This project shall be fully integrated to Carista.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Andrew Thomson

    Andrew project managed the design and implementation of Carista and will project manage this exciting new development.

    Maggie Fleming

    Maggie leads our work in supporting people to direct their own support and manage their own individual budgets.

    Lucy Wren

    Lucy leads the organisation and ensures our Philosophy and Values are embedded in everything we do.