London Development Agency
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Opening Up Services and Products to Elderly and Disabled Londoners

The London Development Agency (LDA) has provided £2.35 million in funding towards a new centre to open up products and services for the elderly and people with disabilities to perform tasks they would otherwise be unable to do known as assistive technology (AT).

The Design and Development Centre at Whitechapel in east London will play a vital role in improving AT development in areas of research, industry, and the National Health Service.

One of the products the centre will specialise in is a new paediatric wheelchair called the Wizzybug that will allow disabled children to control their mobility from the age when they would otherwise be crawling.

Deputy Mayor of London Richard Barnes said:

"Increasing the opportunities for independent living is fundamental. This funding shows the commitment there is to improving access and facilities for elderly and disabled Londoners. It is important to offer people with visual impairment, long-term health conditions and mobility challenges the opportunities to perform tasks they might not otherwise be able to do."

Rebecca Shepheard, LDA Director of Contracts Delivery, said:

"Assistive technologies are crucial in providing choice and independence for older or disabled individuals. Many innovators have already got the ideas to make that difference, but there are real problems turning them into products. The ATcare correct Design and Development Centre will provide the expertise and resources to bring these ideas to life."

Progress in assistive technology products and services for elderly people is a growing priority due to Britain’s ageing population. One in five people will be over 65 in 2025 by which time over six million over-65s requiring assistance technology in their daily lives.

A new report published by ATcare highlights the need for better co-ordination of assistive technology development, which the LDA’s funding aims to address.

The new centre will facilitate better co-operation between users of assistive technology and manufacturers, social and health care professionals, industry and local communities to ensure that assistive technology can be delivered to meet peoples’ specific needs.

Products that will broaden leisure and work opportunities are being developed to address a range of needs such as visual impairment, long-term health conditions and mobility challenges. Such equipment can broaden people’s leisure and work opportunitie.

For further information, please contact: Peter O’Connor, LDA News Team, on 020 7593 8386 or e-mail: LDA out-of-hours: 07797 439371. Public enquiries: Tel: 020 7593 9000.


Notes for editors

1. The London Development Agency aims to improve the quality of life for all Londoners working to create jobs, develop skills and promote economic growth.

2. The ATcare Design and Development Centre is at 31 Scarborough Street, London E1 8DR. More information can be found at


For further information please contact: Peter O'Connor on 020 7593 8386

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