Tim, who has cerebral palsy, is a natural communicator and listener. Tim\u2019s disability means he can\u2019t speak verbally with others, but by using specialist technology he\u2019s still able to communicate with friends and family at this difficult time.\r\n\r\nWith self-isolation and social distancing now in place, this technology is more important than ever for Tim. He can\u2019t visit his mum at the moment but thankfully it allows him to stay in touch with her by phone.\r\n\r\nThe technology, called Dynavox, allows Tim to spell out what he wants to say using head-operated controls. It works by displaying his words on a screen or playing them as audio, to the people he talks to.\r\n\r\nTim says, \u201cBeing able to use Dynavox is so important to me. I feel less isolated. If I didn\u2019t have my device, communication would be very slow and frustrating.\u2019\u2019\r\n\r\nTim lives at Treetops, a care home run by Livability in Colchester where he was taught how to communicate using this vital equipment. Since then the technology has opened up many opportunities for Tim that simply wouldn\u2019t be possible otherwise, including recently undertaking training to become a counsellor.\r\n\r\nStaying in touch \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nDown the corridor at Treetops, Tim\u2019s housemate Rachel is an avid user of social media. Rachel operates her computer with eyegaze technology rather than a headrest control, using eye movements to access what she wants online.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s massively important to me,\u201d Rachel spells out on her screen. \u2018\u2019My favourite thing to use is Facebook so I can keep in touch with family and friends. I do get frustrated with it at times but it does stop me feeling isolated because I can talk to people outside of care.\u201d\r\n\r\nRachel\u2019s family often visit her at the home but with the lockdown in place it\u2019s just not possible. That\u2019s why it\u2019s even more important at the moment for Rachel to connect with her family on social media.\r\n\r\nMaking the most of technology at Livability\u2019s care homes \r\n\r\nAt this difficult time, assistive specialist technology can help break down communication barriers for disabled people, allowing them to use social media or smartphones to stay in touch with family and friends.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAmanda Nixon manages Livability Treetop\u2019s high-dependency residential care home in Essex, which provides 24-hour nursing and personal care for younger disabled adults.\r\n\r\nShe\u2019s incredibly proud of how her team are pulling together to provide round-the-clock care to support the young adults in the home whilst the coronavirus continues to impact our everyday lives.\r\n\r\nAmanda says, \u201cIt\u2019s incredibly important for the disabled people we support that they can stay in touch with their friends and family. We\u2019re having to self isolate and many of our residents aren\u2019t able to see their own family which is incredibly hard. At times like this it\u2019s vital they can stay in touch and the specialist equipment they use to help them do this is essential.\u201d\r\n\r\nHow Livability supports disabled people\r\n\r\nTreetops care home is part of a group of services that Livability runs to support disabled people. Livability also run rehabilitation centres for brain and spinal injuries, wellbeing and educational centres and other care homes across the UK. Livability also works closely with local churches to encourage social inclusion and community projects that support disabled people.\r\n\r\nLivability is a strong believer in the power of connecting people with their communities, through technology (including assistive technology) and new innovations. It\u2019s something they\u2019ve been doing for the past 170 years and they recently introduced an extra telephone to all their care homes so residents can continue to keep in touch with loved ones whenever they want to.\r\n\r\nFind out more\r\n\r\nLivability have just launched an emergency appeal to support disabled people in need through coronavirus.\r\n\r\nIf you\u2019d like to find out more how you can support through this difficult time, visit Livability\u2019s website or contact Michelle Carillo, Legacy Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can call Livability's supporter care team on 0207 452 2121.