LIFEtool – computer aided communication for people with disabilities

LIFEtool is located in Linz (Upper Austria) and is a non profit organisation founded by Diakoniewerk and AIT Austrian Institut of Technology.

LIFEtool wants to contribute to opening up the world of computers, which comes so natural to us, to children, teenagers, adults and ageing people who suffer from physical handicaps, learning disabilities or multiple impairments and thus LIFEtool wants to enhance these person’s integration and equal opportunities. The means to achieve this target are research & development, consultation & training and renting & selling of electronic communication systems, individually adapted input devices for the computer, alternative input devices, mouse-simulating devices, special software programs and environment control systems.

Learning, playing, working, gathering information and communicating are within everybody’s range if the computer is considered a "tool". LIFEtool  considers its engagement as an innovative, future-oriented and modern way to allow for integration and equal opportunities of handicapped people in the sense of self-determination, independence and freedom of action.

To achieve this aim the team of LIFEtool Linz ideally combines realistic educational, psychological, social and integrative knowledge of members of social welfare organisations with the technical, electronic and programming know-how of researchers and developers of Austrian Institute of Technology. People working with handicapped persons in everyday life and rehabilitation and espacially handicapped people themselves give valuable inputs for new projects, diagnosis and therapy.

"It is not the human that has to adapt to technology - but technology that has to adapt to the human."

Network of non-profit AT-Centers

The persons affected long for professional, comprehensive and free from commercial interest consultations and appropriate products. Therefore LIFEtool is operating a Network of non-profit "Assistive Technology Centers" in Austria (Linz, Vienna, Klagenfurt, Graz, Carinthia and Tyrol) and in Czech Republic (Prague).
With their commitment and engagement to the LIFEtool  AT Centers the Austrian Diakonie, especially the centre Diakoniewerk Gallneukirchen, the Diakonie Kärnten and  the Diakonie in Czech Republic show an innovative, future-oriented and modern way to allow for the integration of people with physical and / or mental impairments in the sense of self-determination and independence.

Applied Research and Development

LIFEtool has developed a number of educational and switch accessible software programs (AboutNumbers, Archimedes, CatchMe 2.0, Kon-Zen, Pablo, ShowMe AAC, FlashWords AAC, PuzzleWorld, PlayWithMe, SwitchTrainer, WheelSim) as well as the awarded IntegraMouse Plus® (a computer mouse controlled solely with the mouth) and IntegraSwitch® (new hygienic standard for sip/puff switches).