Project Overview

The ALONE Sláintecare project aims to provide technology and a broad range of services that work together in a collaborative and coordinated way to support older people to manage their own health and wellbeing, and to improve their local community’s capacity to meet their needs.

The project has two key objectives:

  1. To provide technology and services to support older people to better manage their health and remain living at home for longer.
  2. To improve the community’s capacity to meet the growing needs of older people though alignment, collaboration, common service models and training.

The Centre for Excellence in Universal Design (CEUD) is part of the National Disability Authority. It is dedicated to enabling the design of environments that can be accessed, understood and used regardless of a person's age, size, ability or disability. The CEUD supports the development of standards, guidelines and toolkits for the implementation of Universal Design in a wide range of spheres of practice.

The CEUD engaged with ALONE in January 2020 as part of the ALONE Sláintecare project to provide guidance on the use of standards when identifying user needs and evaluating the accessibility of technology products.

The CEUD ran two workshops with ALONE staff, in February and September 2020, in which two practical exercises were conducted (see Appendix B for agenda of workshop on 3 September). The first exercise focused on people. It considered how to describe the abilities and characteristics of older people in relation to their use of technology based on the CEN-CENELEC Guide 6 / ISO/IEC Guide 71 ‘Guide for addressing accessibility in standards’.  A second exercise focused on the suite of technology being used in the project. It considered how to describe the functional performance of the technology based on the harmonised European standard EN 301 549 “Accessibility requirements for ICT products and services”.

This section is based on the practical exercise conducted in the CEUD/ALONE workshop in September 2020 and follow on exercises. A copy of the exercise sheet is provided in Appendix C.

The exercise demonstrates how EN 301 549 was used to identify appropriate technology products for users. The exercise included the following steps:

  • identifying the user’s needs
  • mapping the user’s characteristics and abilities to the Functional Performance Statements of EN 301 549
  • assessing the functional performance of technology products to determine whether the technology products may meet the user’s needs, using the Functional Performance Statements.