Director General Educational Services George Borg and HSBC Malta CFO Josephine Magri during the presentation of the bank’s sponsorship of new Assistive Technology. ‘The Wombat’ activity chair is seen in the background.
Students using the Access to Communication and Technology Unit (ACTU) services now have access to some of the very latest Assistive Technology. These devices were acquired with support from HSBC Malta Foundation, to help children with disabilities learn and communicate in everyday social, educational, and pre-vocational situations.
“Having access to the latest Assistive Technology is vital to the professional support ACTU offers children facing educational and communication challenges, allowing our trans-disciplinary team to address these challenges as early on and as effectively as possible,” explained George Borg, Director General Educational Services. “HSBC Malta Foundation’s support offers a prime example of how valuable corporate sustainability can be at enhancing the wellbeing of children.”
The newly acquired technology includes a sophisticated activity chair known as ‘The Wombat’ and a selection of portable, lightweight, yet powerful communicational devices such as the ‘The Accent 1000’ and the ‘Nova Chat’ range of devices which allow students with disabilities to communicate freely at home, in the classroom, and in medical environments.
“Communication is fundamental to expression and the way we live our lives. It shapes how we experience the world and how we learn to such an extent that we tend to take communication skills for granted. However this is not so for people with communicational challenges for whom ACTU’s services are making a world of a difference”, said HSBC Malta Chief Financial Officer Josephine Magri. “The invaluable work being carried out by ACTU is an important element in a compassionate and inclusive society.”
ACTU Student Services Department falls under the Directorate for Educational Services, and comprises a core trans-disciplinary team of Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Pathologists, and Learning Support Assistants with specialised training to recommend and implement augmentative communication strategies. This team is providing a service to individuals of all ages via an open referral system for parents, educators and allied professions, offering comprehensive assessments, support and intervention to help individuals express themselves as independently as possible.