Win a year's FREE Handi Calendar licence on Abilia's stand at the Tes SEN Show

The HandiCalendar app is for anyone who needs help with time and planning. Abilia are giving away a year's FREE licence to the app - read on to discover more about it and how to enter.

As a company, Abilia gives people with special needs the power to become independent and take control of their daily lives. Based on our more than 40 years’ experience and supported by research evidence, we know that our assistive technology helps people to get structure over their day and to gain independence. We believe that everyone should have the same opportunities to participate in society on their terms, and are passionate about enabling people access to a more fulfilling life.

Handi Calendar is an app that breaks time down into dots which are visual and trackable. By doing this, we’re making an abstract concept much easier to understand.

Handi can be supported by various people who can remotely update timetables. I’ll give an example of where this may be useful:

You’re working in a school with an individual that is very restricted by their routine - a change in their routine can cause huge disruption especially the closer it gets to an event. You get a call from the individual's parent explaining that there has been a change to their plan for the evening and they just wanted to let you know. Using a tool such as Handi would allow the parent or school staff to add that change to the individual's timetable. This means the change is being re-enforced each time they are checking their timetable and although may not stop associated behaviours, it alleviates the anxiety surrounded with timetable changes as visual representations are used and the tablet will update to reflect new timetables if access to wifi is available.

A fantastic feature of Handi is that days can be planned weeks and months in advance, recurring events can be set up and even if the individual is not on the app, the reminders will still work. This is a great feature when using something like YouTube and establishing an end time to that. This planning feature works brilliantly for schools as it allows a whole term of planning with just the odd tweaks as and when they occur.

As activities get closer to happening, the red dots get closer to the event as does a line that says ‘now’. Whether or not someone understands time is irrelevant as most people can understand the concept of more or less; the more dots there are, the further away an activity is and the closer the dots, the closer an activity is to happening.

When it is time for an activity, it will flash onto the screen and an alarm can be used to signal that something is happening. A voice can be used as well to read out what the activity is on the screen if someone needs literacy support.

Not only can you input one activity, but you can set up checklists which allow you to tick off each item after they’ve been completed. Once all items are completed, the checklist gets a green tick. This works great for busy mornings to make sure nothing is forgotten before the school run.

Using Handi reduces anxiety and confusion surrounding time and allows someone to be more independent. As their use of Handi becomes more frequent, they are also able to start inputting items themselves.

To be in with a chance of winning a whole year's FREE Handi licence, visit Abilia on stand 183 at the Tes SEN Show and follow them on Facebook for updates on how to win.

Register for the Tes SEN Show now for free to be in with a chance to win.