Author Archives: Simon Judge

About Simon Judge

Service Lead at the Barnsley Assistive Technology Team. I am a Clinical Scientist and honorary Research Fellow with an interest in #AugComm #AssistiveTech and geekery among other things.

Being a Field Servicing Technician in the Assistive Technology Team

In this post Phill, one of our new Field Service Technicians tells us about his role.   If this is something that interests you, or someone you know, then we have a position out to advert at the moment so please have a look and get in touch!

Tell us what the job of Field Servicing Technician in the Assistive Technology Team involves?

Phill, one of our field service engineers.

Phill, one of our Field Service Technicians

No two days are ever the same. One day you may be refurbishing equipment that has been returned ready to be returned to another client or setting up a device for other members of the team. You could be installing a system for a client or carrying out a routine service. But the best part of the job is that every day you can make a real difference to someone’s life. This could be something as “simple” as letting someone control their TV using a different style of controller to enabling someone to communicate who may not be able to speak.

What was your previous field servicing experience?

Previously I worked as a service engineer for a large international company on high end devices from numerous manufacturers. The equipment I worked on was in almost every sector from Healthcare to banking, Small single offices to international  companies.

How does this role compare to your previous field servicing experience?

Previously I was just a number in a service division of an international company. Now I’m part of an amazing team of people who are all working towards providing the best possible service possible. Everyone goes the extra mile to help our clients.

What would you say to someone else coming into this role?

If you really like helping people and working with technology then this is the job for you.

Tell us about a client you recently visited, what did you do?

One of the first visits I attended was to watch a colleague install an environmental control system. After we had completed the install the reaction from the client and her Husband  was fantastic. Being able to control the TV and adjust her chair made such a difference. A more recent visit I have attended was for a young man who is not able to communicate or use standard devices to control his TV, Radio or go on Facebook. All this is now controlled from one device. Although he couldn’t talk we still had a laugh with each other after I told him I was going to make his device tune the TV to Classic FM. We settled on Heart FM

Anything else?

The Barnsley AT Team

The Barnsley AT Team

If you want a new challenge in a rewarding field, working as part of a fantastic team in a great environment then this could be the move your looking for.


Work with us!

The Barnsley AT Team

The Barnsley AT Team

We are recruiting to a number of positions in our team – we are looking for Technical staff and also Speech Therapists and Therapy Assistants.   If you wish to apply, or know someone who may be interested, please see the listings on NHS jobs below.

Technical Staff: Do you have a technical background but want to work in a more rewarding role, making a real difference to the lives of individuals with disabilities? We are looking for Technicians, Field Service Engineers and Clinical Technologists to work in our nationally recognised Assistive Technology Team.

If you have a technical background and an interest in electronic Assistive Technology, we have a number of posts open, according to your skills and experience:

If you are a registered Clinical Technologist, or have a defined route for completing registration:

Therapy Staff: Are you a Speech Therapist or Therapy Assistant with a specific interest in AAC and Assistive Technology?

Find Out more about our team and the services we provide on our website.

Be a Field Service Engineer with a difference

We are currently recruiting for field service engineers.  This is not your average field servicing job though – this post is rewarding and challenging in equal measure. In addition, there are routes to personal development including working towards registration as a clinical technologist within the NHS.

These roles are key to our team’s ability to install, service,  maintain and repair the communication aids and environmental controls that our team provides to individuals with severe disabilities.

You will have to have a strong electronic/computing engineering background and the ability to communicate with a range of people and have an excellent ability to fault find and fix problems. You will also enjoy being a part of a supportive and dynamic team.

Read more about the job on the NHS Jobs page.  You can also see more about what we do on our website.

Join our team

We are continuing the expansion of our service, to provide specialised Augmentative Communication Aid and Environmental Control services across Yorkshire and Humber.   As such we have new roles available within the team:

  • Office & Contract Manager – NHS Jobs Ref 163-2687E-10-15
  • Assistive Technology Clinical Specialist (Occupational Therapist) – NHS Jobs Ref 163-2633E-10-15
  • Therapy Assistant / Technical Instructor – this will be posted on 23rd Oct.
  • Clinical Technologist (Electronics) – this will be posted in November.

We are looking for motivated individuals with a real drive for making a difference to the lives of people with disabilities. Our team is known nationally and internationally for quality and innovation and by joining you will help us maintain this reputation and more importantly to deliver a great service within Yorkshire and Humber.

If you are interested in any of these roles, please have a look at the job descriptions (linked above) and please feel free to get in touch to discuss them further.

Work with us

We are continuing to expand our team as part of a significant service development to become the regional service delivering specialised services for Augmentative Communication Aids and Environmental Control in Yorkshire and the Humber.

As part of this expansion we are seeking new members of staff to help deliver high quality services to our clients. You must be highly motivated, a great team player and passionate about the use of assistive technology and working with people with disabilities.

This is an exciting time to be part of the team and you will be key in developing the service and maintaining its reputation for high quality provision and innovation. Our team has an excellent national and international reputation for quality, innovation and research and development and has strong links with the University of Sheffield.

Currently we are looking to recruit to the following posts:

All these jobs are open to those currently with the required specialist skills, and to those wishing to develop these skills within the role.

Closing date is 12th April 2015.

Accessibility in Computer Science

As a team we see the need for good accessibility for information technology – on web pages, app decvelopment, within operating systems and in fact in any computer system.  To help train the next generation of developers on the importance of accessibility, Vicky from our team gave a seminar to students on the Sheffield Hallam computing degree course.  Here is some of the feedback:

” Accessibility and equal opportunities for all, when working with mobile apps is easily overlooked, especially when targeting the masses. The talk opened my eyes to how taking the extra time to implement simple, or in some cases more complicated UI systems can fundamentally change someones way off life. With so many options available in the form of technology, software created by major corporations, and smaller 3rd party API’s, there is no longer any excuse to not take the extra time as a developer to make your app available for all, and in many cases to those who could benefit the most. The talk offered a comprehensive overview and hands on with current technology used to help disabilities, as well as some use cases, which let me see how the simplest technology can make a huge difference in someones life.

Since the talk, I have continued development on my mobile app, now incorporating voice navigation through our UI. The app focuses on child safety, and I hope with the added accessibility options, it could offer some independence for more vulnerable children with disabilities. Without the insight from my lecturers, or guest speakers from the NHS, I would never have considered adding features to help with disabilities.

I would like to thank the NHS for taking the time to come and talk to us, and offer their professional insight.”

“The talk given by the NHS was fantastic. As we were just venturing into our project to develop an application for assistive technology; we were quite un-aware of what was currently out there. Both in terms of current technology and aid provided by the NHS. It was good to as it gave us some interesting ideas for our own projects. But the biggest benefit of the talk was the inspiration it gave us. We knew that is was not just another university projects, in fact what we would be creating could potentially change someone’s life. I think it was a great talk and definitely should be run next year.”

“I would like to thank the Barnsley Hospital and Vicky for taking the time to come and talk to us, the experience was invaluable. Prior to starting this project at University, I had no previous knowledge of assistive technology. As part of this project, we needed to develop an application for assistive technology, more specifically a communication aid. The talk by Vicky was excellent, it provided me with detailed knowledge on the level of technology both past and present as well as what to expect in the future. Providing us with some excellent ideas for our projects. It raised my awareness of the technologies that people with disabilities depend on. Vicky spoke about several people, how they use assistive technology and the importance of it needing to be tailored to their specific needs. This really opened my eyes on how some of the technology we take for granted can make such an incredible impact to someone’s quality of life. I hope that the application we produce can improve the independence of people with disabilities.”

“The NHS talk has given me a better understanding of assistive technology. I was made aware of the various input methods available for environmental control systems i.e. blowing. I also got a chance to hold and interact with various AAC devices which which was a nice touch. To conclude, I found the talk to be very beneficial to my module research and to anyone interested in the assistive technology.”

This course is taught by Dr Peter O’Neil as part of the Sheffield Halam’s computing course.