Environmental Controls are used by people with significant physical disabilities to regain or retain independence over the environments which they inhabit. They range from controls for TV and music systems to full control of doors, windows, heating etc.
What is Environmental Control?
Environmental controls help people who have significant physical disabilities to retain or regain independence of their environment. These devices are used to:
- Call for help or assistance
- Control home entertainment systems such as TV's, Sky+ or other television devices.
- Making and receiving phone calls.
- Operating electrical appliances such as lighting, heating etc.
Environmental controls can provide people with greater independence and enhance quality of life for people with long term conditions.
Who Is Eligible For The Service?
The Electronic Assistive Technology Service provides an assessment and equipment provision service for people who meet the criteria detailed in the service specification (D01/S/c), the main features of this are a significant physical disability which primarily affects upper limb movements and which results in the person being unable to use standard controls and an ability to use the equipment.
We are not able to supply equipment where a non-specialist solution exists or where the need is primarily educational ICT or employment access to work.
The service is open to children and adults, as well as those living in any setting (residential care, own home, nursing home) as long as the above criteria are met.
Most people who use environmental controls have a condition such as motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy or acquired brain injury. However, this is not an exhaustive list.
What Equipment Can Be Provided?
Generally equipment is provided in two parts, a controller and peripherals. Controllers can be controlled using touch, switches, eye gaze and many other means such as sip-puff, mouth control etc. and may take the form of simple button based devices up to tablet computers. Peripherals include remotely controlled sockets,
Our assessment process will determine which method is the best match for your circumstances. We work with a wide variety of suppliers and are not tied to any single one, so that we can find the right equipment for you.
How Can I Be Referred For An Assessment?
Most referrals come from community Occupational Therapists (OT's), Nurses or Case Workers. Although you are able to self refer we would still require further advice from these professionals, so will need to contact them following your referral. Your Occupational Therapist, Nurse or Case Worker can use the 'For Professionals' section of this website to make a referral to the service.
If you do not have access to any of the professionals above, please contact the department for further advice.
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