Since 2009, Diakonie’s VERBUND Empowerment Fund has been supporting the individual counselling of around 6,000 people with disabilities on the possibilities of accessing assisted communication and technologies. 

There are about 63,000 people living in Austria who are restricted in their spoken language. In order to communicate, they need tools that are tailored to them. On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Diakonie and VERBUND highlight gaps and problems in accessing Assisted Communication and Assistive Technologies. 

“On the Day of People with Disabilities, we want to draw attention once again to the difference that the right device can make in the life of a person with disabilities” says Diakonie Director Maria Katharina Moser. “Because technology makes a self-determined life possible, especially for people with restricted spoken language.” 

“The path to the right aid in Austria is complicated, confusing and lengthy,” criticises the Diakonie director. “There is no legal entitlement to the financing of assistive means of communication, many offices at state and federal level are involved in the application.” For those affected, however, time is often pressing, for example in the case of diseases with progressive symptoms. Therefore, a fast processing in the care would be important for those affected and their relatives. 

“Every day on which communication does not succeed is one too many,” says Michael Strugl, Chairman of the Executive Board of VERBUND AG. “The long-term goal of Diakonie’s VERBUND Empowerment Fund is to establish a legal entitlement to the financing of assistive technologies for people with disabilities,” emphasizes Strugl. Read the full article here.