Researcher Phil Joddrell recently took the AcTo Dementia project on a world tour.
Phil attended the 15th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs (ICCHP) in July to present work related to the AcTo Dementia project. The conference was hosted by the Johannes Kepler University (JKU) in the beautiful city of Linz in Austria. The focus of the presentation was on the way in which we identify accessible apps for people living with dementia using an evidence-based framework. This was featured in a session titled Digital Games Accessibility which also included work involving people with visual impairment and cerebral palsy.
Later in July, Phil took the AcTo Dementia project to Toronto, Canada for the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2016. The project was represented twice at this conference: firstly, in a poster presentation at the Technology & Dementia Professional Interest Area (PIA) pre-conference event and secondly, in an oral presentation at the main conference.
Professor Arlene Astell, another member of the AcTo Dementia research team, also featured strongly at the conference with a poster and oral presentation on other, related work. The AAIC attracted more than 4,000 attendees in 2015 so this conference offers an excellent opportunity to share our work on AcTo Dementia with researchers, clinicians and service users from around the world.
While in Toronto, both Phil and Arlene were privileged to be invited to attend and speak at the closing event of the Let’s Connect pilot project; an initiative at the Oshawa Senior Citizens Centre that utilised some of the AcTo Dementia recommended apps to facilitate computer activities for people living with dementia. This event was attended by the Mayor of Oshawa, John Henry, along with other representatives from the Ontario Provincial Parliament for Oshawa and the Trillium Foundation, who provided the funding for this project.
Finally, and more informally, Phil and Arlene joined a group of friends and colleagues from around the world for dinner one evening after the conference, united by their interest in improving the lives of people with dementia. This included international dementia advocate Kate Swaffer and her husband Peter, and World Dementia Council Nigerian Chief Kikelomo Laniyonu Edwards.