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Kehelland Trust use robotics for greater independence

Jan 20, 2022 | Learning Disabilities, News, Press Release |

Robots boost the independence of young and older adults with learning disabilities in Cornwall. 

GenieConnect® is an innovative solution providing greater independence, choice and accessibility to people with learning and/ or physical disabilities. The GenieConnect® service is managed through a Care Portal overseen by a teacher, support worker or carer. The robot sits on a desk and interacts with the user, acting as a communication tool with live video calls with their friends, family and support network as well as providing useful prompts and reminders. The aim of GenieConnect® is to help improve communication, understand emotions, independence skills and social contexts.  

Kehelland Trust with robotics

GenieConnect® is being trialled by Kehelland Trust, one of the South West’s leading learning disability charities. Kehelland delivers horticultural education as well as personal and social skills for young and older adults with learning difficulties, allowing active participation in the community.

At Kehelland, our ethos is all about building independence and not enabling dependence, and I think the GenieConnect® may well prove to be a useful tool in our efforts to ensure that everyone has the chance at living a happy, independent, fulfilled life.

Dan Quick

Senior Tutor , Kehelland Trust

To add to their existing community-led achievements, Kehelland is turning to robotics to help individuals gain independence and responsibility in their own homes. 

Our learners can struggle with a sense of isolation when at home. When attending Kehelland, it’s easy for them to form friendships and valuable social bonds, but this can fall apart at home due to Cornwall’s relative rurality. Transport links in Cornwall are poor, and if the learner doesn’t have any other means of transport, it’s easy to become distanced. This has become more pronounced lately due to the ongoing pandemic, which has disproportionately affected individuals with special educational needs.

Dan Quick

Senior Tutor , Kehelland Trust

Kehelland Trust with robotics at the table

Enabling connected communities  

The world we live in is becoming increasingly digital. We use technology more in our day-to-day lives — digital services such as online banking to social media. People with a learning disability often struggle to access and use digital tools. GenieConnect® aims to break down that barrier with a simple user interface, engaging content and connectivity to friends, family and professional support.  

Learners will be able to easily video call their peers – these contacts must be pre-approved so there’s no danger in leaving them with the device on their own (as opposed to standard tablets or phones), which will likely lead to a greater degree of independence and confidence.

Dan Quick

Senior Tutor , Kehelland Trust

CEO of Service Robotics Ltd

“Finding proven methods of delivering some care remotely is game-changing for the care industry. By doing this we are enabling more independence whilst being available to support”

Respect their dignity with empowered care  

GenieConnect® offers ways to improve communication and independence for people with a learning disability in an increasingly digital world. For some people, this has seen them get ready for the day, use reminders, cook independently and have a discrete method of communicating any concerns they may have.  

Our education programmes promote the safe use of technology to allow our learners to live more fulfilling lives, and a device like this is a wonderful addition to that provision

Dan Quick

Senior Tutor, Kehelland Trust

The leadership team at Kehelland are most excited about the “increased confidence and independence, and hopefully, a greater degree of enthusiasm about the benefits technology can bring!”

Kehelland Trust with robotics as a team