IT Funk has been The Norwegian Research Council's RTD-programme on ICT for people with disability.
Universal design and accessibility for all. The purpose of IT Funk has been to contribute to accessibility for all, including persons with disability, to information and communication technology (ICT) and to society through the use of ICT. ICT-based products and services developed for the general market must be accessible and useful for everyone at reasonable prices. IT Funk has paid special attention to areas where accessibility issues impact on a person's life chances, such as education, employment and basic services to citizens.
Project acronym: Mylife
Partners: Karde AS (NO), Tellu AS (NO), Forget-me-not AS (NO), Sidsel Bjørneby Sole Proprietorship (NO), Housing21 (UK), Trent Dementia Services and Development Centre (UK), Berlin Institute for Social Research (DE)
Project coordinator: Riitta Hellman, Karde AS, Norway.
Project manager Norway: Riitta Hellman, Karde AS
Primary objective: The aim of the Mylife-project is to refine and expand the existing, initial Mylife-prototype with enhanced functionality in order to arrive at a mature, high-quality product which can be introduced in the European market as an assistive home-technology for people with cognitive disabilities.
Project summary: The Mylife project aims to support the use of self-service solutions by older people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia, by giving them access to simple and intuitive ICT-solutions adapted to individual needs and wishes, and based on standard hardware. The idea is to take services available for free on the internet, such as calendar, photo album, music, news; different games etc. and transform them into an easy-to-use form suitable for standard hardware such as PC or a mobile phone with touch-screen.
The service offered by Mylife addresses well-known problems in the targeted user groups. It supports time-orientation, sensory awareness, communication and recreational activities (entertainment) and caregivers (family/friends as well as professional personnel) through the user's Google Calendar, Picasa photo albums and other free internet-based services.
Results: The project chose to base tests and development on currently available technologies, using a touch screen tablet computer. With assistance from a family member or care, each Mylife tablet can be customized to the individual's preferred viewing format, allowing the individual to access a range of information, such as the day, date and time, daily and weekly appointments, news and weather, favorite music and photos.
The outcomes of Mylife user trials for individual with dementia were increased independence and wellbeing, a reduction in social isolation, increased participation in daily activities, stimulation of cognitive abilities and access to internet-enabled services. For carers, the outcome was a reduction in the stress caused by worry, and the need to respond to repeated questions and multiple phone calls.
The first commercial release of Mylife is planned for 2013.
Project period: April 2011 - December 2012 (project completed)
National grant programme in Norway: IT Funk (ICT for disabled and elderly)
This document was first published 03.07.2011, and updated 29.08.2013.