What inspired you to start your business?
Adaptive Technology Solutions was born from a long held dream of mine, to establish my own business enhancing the lives of people with disabilities initially but this has extended to older people and anyone else needing to use specialised assistive technology.
Personally, I use assistive technology on a daily basis to enable me to run a successful business. Having lived my whole life with the effect of disability, I relate well to others and can assess their needs with compassion and experience.
Tell us about your business?
I offer a unique service to people with a range of health or accident related disabilities, including sensory; physical; learning or multi-disabled.
In facilitating access to specialised assistive technology for people with disabilities, Adaptive Technology Solutions is contributing towards those people becoming more productive members of society, through their ability to better access higher education and employment opportunities. This in turn, cuts down the high cost of people with disabilities receiving Income Support benefits.
I offer an initial phone consultation so I can learn about the person’s particular needs, and from there I work out a plan of action specific to their needs. This may involve a more in-depth consultation where we work through a series of questions designed to gain an understanding of their current needs to suggest suitable recommendations. They are then provided with a report with recommendations I believe will benefit them. This can be taken a step further where I will manage the process of arranging equipment trials with suppliers and sourcing quotes for the client.
I also provide training in assistive technology software and am exploring options to offer on-line courses.
If clients are working or studying, then I will make sure they are aware of available support funding through Workbridge, which administers funding for people with disabilities who need assistive technology because of their disability.
What do you love about running your business?
I care about my clients and want to ensure they have access to information about assistive technology so they can make informed decisions, even if it means giving them information and contacts for other suppliers if I can’t help them myself. I see Adaptive Technology Solutions very much as a service based business.
I love seeing how technology can help people regain or gain independence.
What have been some of your biggest challenges?
When I first talked about setting up my own business, some people expressed amazement that someone with both physical disabilities and a visual impairment would contemplate setting up a business on their own. I don’t let my disabilities prevent me from achieving my goals, but I very quickly realised there are some aspects of working for myself that are more difficult because of my disabilities, and I need support for some tasks.
I have also needed to be aware of my energy levels as it takes longer for me to do some things than someone without my disabilities but the advantage of working for myself is that I can plan my days accordingly.
I have Cerebral Palsy and a non-related visual impairment but do not let this stand in the way of my achievements.
Do you have a favourite quote?
“Be the change you want to see in the world” – Gandhi
Who inspires you and why?
Sir Edmond Hilary and Sir Peter Blake because they both had big goals and were not afraid to do what it takes to achieve them.
What growth have you experienced being in Venus?
Since being involved with Venus, I have become a lot more confident as a business woman and a leader. I learn as much as I can from the resources available and other Venus women and am not afraid to ask for help when I need it. Venus is a very supportive network and one I am proud to be a member.
Women are redefining success and growing businesses on their own terms: What does success look like to you?
For me, success doesn’t just mean financial success. It’s about making a difference in people’s lives. I experience sheer joy when I can help people.
What’s your favourite pastime when you are not working?
I enjoy sailing and am a member of Sailability Wellington which provides sailing opportunities for people with disabilities. I am also part of their race team.
I also enjoy adult colouring in as I find this a totally relaxing pass time. I am also an avid reader and never go anywhere without a good book.