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Project information

Adapting Technology - Changing Lives

The Treloar's Assistive Technology Service is the application of technology, both ‘high’ and ‘low’ tech, to empower our students who have a wide range of disabilities including cerebral palsy, spina bifida and muscular dystrophy to independently access and fully participate in their education.

September 2012 - August 2013

Charity information: Treloar Trust

Treloar Trust logo
  • Need


    Profound and complex disability means our children and young people have severely limited movement. Over 60% of our children and young people are only able to move their head, eyes or part of their limbs, meaning they are unable to operate their wheelchairs and are reliant on other people for even basic independence. In addition 30% of our students have no natural speech and 30% of our students have a permanent visual impairment relating to their condition.


    Our Assistive Technology Service consists of a highly specialised team of people who assess, design, adjust, fine-tune and modify equipment and devices to maximise students’ independence. The team might adapt a computer keyboard and joystick for a child with limited hand movement so he or she can use a PC independently. Or they might add a special switch to a wheelchair so that the student can operate it with a part of their body so they can get to a lesson unaided.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide all our 250 students who have profound disabilities with full access to their education.


    » The Team assess each individual student then work with them to trial and test the best solution to their problem such as using a PC to do coursework.

    What success will look like

    The number of students enabled to use technology and other devices to achieve GSCE, A level and NVQ qualifications to help boost their future employability.

    Aim 2

    To provide all our 250 students who have profound disabilities with independent living skills.


    » The Team assess each individual student then work with them to trial and test the best solution to a problem such as being able to have a bath unaided

    What success will look like

    Success will be the number of students enabled to use technology and other devices to perform an independent living skill such as cooking a meal or washing their clothes.

  • Impact


    250 young people each year at Treloar's with the most severe disabilities will have better developed self-esteem, and will be fully supported to achieve their personal goals agreed in their annual Individual Learning Plans (IEPs). They will also have independent living skills that will allow them to live with dignity and be as self- sufficient as possible.

    This in turn will have a real bearing on their future employability in society and their ability to contribute meaningfully to society.


    Treloar's receives no statutory funding for its Assistive Technology Service and has to rely solely on voluntary income to provide it. To minimise this risk, we have a dedicated fundraising team to help generate income for this activity & ask for multi year funding wherever possible.

    Assistive Technologists are part of a rare and skilled profession. Recruitment of a new team could therefore be an unsuccessful process. To minimise risk, salaries are regularly benchmarked & training updated.


    All donors will receive at least an annual report or as required on progress of the Service's work and will be informed of any major breakthroughs or achievements. Donors are also invited to see the team in action at our School or College and meet with key staff.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £211,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £199,500 Salaries of engineers & assistants
      £11,500 Capital tools, equipment

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Grant making Trusts £22,500 Guaranteed
    Individual supporte £24,000 Guaranteed
  • Background




    250 young people between the ages of seven and 25 years who have over 40 different disabilities, most commonly, Cerebral Palsy, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Spina Bifida.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Treloar's is one of the country’s few Specialist Special Schools and we were the first UK College to be awarded Beacon status.

    Our Assistive Technology Team is highly qualified and highly experienced. At Treloar’s we have one of the largest independent teams of Assistive Technologists in the country and the team now acts as a model of good practice and strives to set new standards nationwide and overseas.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Michael Loxley BSc, PGDip

    Assistive Technology Service Manager - oversees and monitors the entire project

    Zoltan Bodnar

    AT Specialist - specialises in electro-mechanical engineering

    Paul Wilson

    AT Specialist - specialises in special needs computing