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Eight-year-old Darragh Mackey.
Eight-year-old Darragh Mackey.

People with disabilities need funds for assistive technology

THE Cope Foundation is calling on the Cork public to support its Flowers of Hope fundraising campaign, which runs until April 14.

Cope, one of Cork’s longest-established charities, works with people who have disabilities and/or autism and it wants to celebrate inclusive communities, workplaces, and schools.

The funding will provide assistive technology solutions for people to live ‘Your Life, Your Way’. Assistive technology can enable a person to do something, from everyday tasks to those ‘never-seemed-possible achievements’.

Eight-year-old Darragh Mackey, who has autism and is non-verbal, has benefitted from Cope Foundation support. Up until recently, Darragh’s ability to communicate was limited to using picture cards and some Lámh signs.

Cope Foundation’s speech-and-language therapists (SLTs) trialled a special communication device, custom-built software that can create unique sentences, responses, and words for Darragh specifically. Now, he has a combination of communication methods and that has opened up a new world for him and his family.

“The impact of this device on Darragh’s life has been huge, and we have already noticed a remarkable change in him,” Darragh’s mother, Natalie Mackey, said. “This technology enables him to tell people what he wants, feels, sees and hears: to have a voice. I am so proud of him, and what he has achieved in such a short space of time.”

The public can take part by organising an event or by donating €4 to Cope Foundation by text (Text COPECORK to 50300) or online. Flowers of Hope lapel pins and seeds will also be available to purchase at various outlets across Cork.

“We want to see communities, schools, and workplaces bringing more colour into their lives by supporting Flowers of Hope, this April, and, in doing so, raising much-needed funds,” Seán Abbott, chief executive of Cope Foundation, said.

More information at www.cope-foundation.ie/flowersofhope.