Hft – Using technology to support independence for people with learning disabilities

“Personalised Technology can have a huge impact on the lives of people with learning disabilities, helping them to communicate and have control over their lives. It also helps us to safeguard them, and use our resources effectively to give support where it’s needed most.”

Steve Barnard, Director of Innovation, Hft

Lifeline Vi

The challenge

Hft is a national charity, providing services for people with learning disabilities throughout England. Established in the 1960s, Hft works in partnership with the people it supports, their families and health professionals to develop effective, person-centred services. Its services include supported living, residential care and short breaks, and Hft helps the people it supports to make their own choices, such as by helping them to find jobs, build friendships, and take part in activities.

How is Hft using Personalised Technology to help people with learning disabilities to live more independent, safe, and healthy lives?

What we did

Hft is recognised as a pioneer in using Personalised Technology to enhance the lives of people with learning disabilities and increase their independence. Its approach is to establish what people want to achieve first, and then assess the solutions technology can provide, helping them to live life the way they choose.

Personalised Technology solutions can include anything from telecare equipment and environmental controls, to mobile technology and communication aids. Working with the individual and their careers and family, Hft staff carry out an initial assessment to establish their needs, goals, and the barriers they face to living life as independently as possible. A “toolkit” of technology is then designed and proposed to meet that person’s specific needs.

Hft follows the principles of the Mental Capacity Act which means consent is gained for Personalised Technology solutions from the person being supported. If this is not possible, then consultation takes place with the people that know them well. All Personalised Technology solutions are regularly reviewed to ensure they continue to meet the needs of the person using them, and adjusted over time as necessary.


Personalised Technology is a vital part of the way Hft delivers services, providing high quality support that helps people with learning disabilities to live better lives. You can read some examples of the ways it has improved the quality of life for people Hft supports on the next page

Improving the lives of people with learning disabilities and carers using toolkits of technology

Steve Barnard, Strategic Director of Innovation at Hft, describes how Hft (a national charity supporting adults with learning disabilities) has used personalised (also known as assistive) technology to support people with learning disabilities and carers to live more independent, safe and healthy lives.

Solutions for social care

Our Connected Care solutions have been designed to support a wide range of people, including older people, people at risk of falls, people with limited mobility, people with learning disabilities, people with dementia and people with conditions such as epilepsy


01977 661234

Tunstall Healthcare (UK) Ltd
Whitley Lodge
DN14 0HR


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