Ace Centre's vision is a society where everyone is given the support they need to communicate, be understood and fulfil their potential. We believe that this vision can only be achieved by open and collaborative working.
How we aim to achieve this goal by:
- Open Development. We work with organisations (Academic, Business or Non-Profit) who share our goal and wish to collaborate on innovation in the field. This may be in service delivery or products. We may support this by providing services such as clinical trial support or insights into learnings from our work. Equally, there may be times when the Charity supports teams directly with its financial contributions.
- Putting Users at the heart of innovation. Providing a space for different key stakeholder groups to contribute to the planning, development, trial and evaluation of products, resources and/or services, i.e. all stages of development. Having an authentic voice to drive the development of the sector
- Valuing knowledge. We feel it is imperative that we actively value end users of AT. This is a two-way process. To fully value members means giving them meaningful and purposeful roles within the network. We will support members to help develop and improve the network and ongoing outcomes
- Providing a forum for end users and professionals in the sector to meet and share experiences. We value the need for both face-to-face and distance communication.
To meet these aims, we feel that a new members network to help facilitate the development of the field is essential. Ace Centre is well suited to do this, being a charity and where we can fund the administration of such a group where other organisations may struggle to do this for the long term. We want to facilitate the members to shape the organisation. Ultimately, we plan to recruit to the Assitive Tech User's Network(ATUN) - from three main groups:
- Users - people who use Assistive Technology (AT). Focusing on electronic Assistive Technology.
- Supporters - including family members and caregivers
- Professionals - education, health and social care professionals working to provide local, regional and national Assistive Technology services and support
As mentioned above, this is a working title. We settled on this after a discussion with end users and staff. But really this discussion group has been a small group to this point hence leaving it flexible. However, we needed something to get started.
- We wanted it to be owned by end users. As much as Ace Centre is keen to invest in end users' opinions and lived experience, the charity does not own their views. So, for this reason, we felt removing the Ace Centre's name from the title was important (an earlier version was "Ace Centre Experts Network').
- As such, it's not about Assistive Technology. The focus is on the end users' experience and interactions with technology. We felt keeping to "accessible" tech rather than "assistive" made this differentiation clearer. It's about anything that makes technology accessible. A game controller isn't per se an assistive technology - but it might make your iPad accessible if you have difficulties controlling your hands.
- ATUN is Spanish (Atún, at least) for Tuna. Atun is also a name meaning Educator, Teacheress, One who Teaches or New - used principally in Malayalam, Marathi, Arabic, Tamil, Telugu, Oriya, Gujarati, Bengali, Hindi and Kannada has its origin in the Arabic language. We are keen on supporting all nationalities and languages, so again, we feel this is a fitting name.
- "In Native American culture, tuna symbolises good luck and abundance. The fish is also associated with strength, courage, and perseverance. Tuna is also a popular totem animal. A totem is an animal that is revered and respected by a particular group of people. In some cultures, it is believed that a person can take on the qualities of their totem animal."