The Danish Centre for Assistive Technology has a long and proud tradition of representing Denmark in professional forums, e.g. as a member of AAATE
and the European standardisation working group, which is revising the overall standards for all assistive devices. It is also part of the network of institutions run by the Nordic Centre for Welfare and Social Issues
, as well as a network consisting of the heads of national centres for assistive technology in the Nordic Region.
The Centre for Assistive Technology is the Danish partner of choice for international projects related to assistive technology and accessibility. The Centre has been working with Nordic and European organisations to generate knowledge and disseminate information about this field for nearly three decades. This collaboration involves both specific projects and a range of networking initiatives.
The projects in which the Centre participates often target professionals or specific user groups. They may deal with, for example, the development or evaluation of devices, the development of methodologies, usability tests and surveys of user satisfaction, or the dissemination of information in new ways or to new target groups.
The Danish Centre for Assistive Technology’s Research Department collates and disseminates information about national and international research-based knowledge. The aim is to qualify and develop regional and local-authority services so that, at any given time, councils are able to prioritise and provide services on the basis of the best available knowledge.
For example, the Danish Centre for Assistive Technology is currently conducting research and development projects in the following areas:
The usefulness and effectiveness of assistive devices and health-and-safety tools for caregivers, both in a socio-economic perspective and in relation to individual citizens
Analyses and documentation of local-government practices regarding assistive devices and information about them, including the identification of existing key data
Financial calculations of the most efficient models in terms of recycling, procurement and storage
The development and validation of survey tools in relation to assistive technology
User involvement in product development.
Assistive Technology Data Denmark and EASTIN
The Assistive Technology Data Denmark (new window)
database contains information about approx. 50,000 devices and 1,000 Danish suppliers. It features descriptions of the devices and information about the products’ technical specifications, prices and test data, as well as contact information for suppliers. Images are also available for most products.
The database has more than 55,000 visits a month from caseworkers, therapists and buyers, as well as end-users and their relatives. Information about products in the database is also available in all European languages at the portal EASTIN (new window)
The database aims to be accessible to as many people as possible, in as many situations as possible, and on as many technological platforms as possible.
Denmark, like the other European countries, faces the dual demographic challenge of an increasing number of elderly citizens with fewer people to care for them. Welfare technology means using technology for a more effective utilisation of resources and helps maintain a level of service that reflects Denmark’s image as a welfare state.
Welfare technology is an umbrella concept that covers many smaller areas, e.g. robotics, smart homes and labour-saving technology. There is a strong correlation between welfare technology and assistive technologies for persons with disabilities. Modified locks and beds, lifts, robotic vacuum cleaners, etc. all help people with disabilities and therefore can be defined as assistive devices.
The Danish Centre for Assistive Technology’s work on welfare technology is designed to benefit both end-users and caregivers.
The Danish Centre for Assistive Technology helps develop international standards and test and advise on the safety, durability, ergonomics and functionality of specific devices. By developing methods and tools to test, evaluate and compare selected products, the Centre aims to improve the utilisation of assistive devices.
The Danish Centre for Assistive Technology is also a professional conference and training facilitator. Experts from Denmark and abroad attend and speak at the Centre’s conferences, which address national and international issues related to assistive devices, accessibility and inclusion. The conferences target professionals in Denmark and serve as a channel for disseminating international knowledge and information to them and to the Danish system. Among these is HITmesse – The Assistive Technology Fair
that takes place in Nyborg every year in September.
Communication and information
The Danish Centre for Assistive Technology publishes books, journals and newsletters, communicates with professionals in online networks and provides information on assistive technology in all appropriate contexts and formats. The Centre communicates mainly in Danish, but also addresses internationally relevant themes and issues in English.
The Danish Centre for Assistive Technology is a key player in making both physical and virtual environments accessible to people with disabilities. The Centre strives to optimise interaction between devices and their surroundings so that everybody enjoys equal access to the public realm.
The Centre participates in a number of networks and projects, in Denmark and abroad, in the field of accessibility.