Very often young people with disabilities and autism experience challenges with communication, learning and routine everyday activities. Inability to properly communicate and to express the needs leads to frustration and inconveniences. As a result, it is not uncommon for children and young people with disabilities to develop secondary disorders and problematic behaviour. These difficulties with communication not only affect the disabled children but also their families and carers.

AssistTechWe are happy to award a grant to the UK-based charity St Gregory’s Foundation on a project to address the problem of inability to communicate faced by disabled young people in Russia. St Gregory’s Foundation works with two Russian NGOs: ANO Physical Rehabilitation in St Petersburg and ANO Communication Space Centre in Moscow.

The project is essential to help children to start communicating adequately with the world around them and so to live happier lives. It is scheduled to run from September 2020 until July 2021.

Project objectives

The project objectives are:

  • To improve the daily lives of at least 52 children and teenagers with various functional limitations, offering them greater access to communication, mobility, independence and social participation
  • To support at least 52 families from draining resources for daily care of their disabled children
  • To create access to alternative modern technologies in Russia
  • To raise awareness of professionals and the entire community, and understanding of the daily needs of people living with disabilities
  • To introduce Russian software and resources translated in Russian, and an opportunity for Russian professionals and parents to create domestic low-tech devices to address the lack of or high prices of foreign equipment of similar type.


The NGOs’ activities include:

  • Running individual tailor-made and group training sessions with highly qualified ergo, physio and communication specialists
  • Providing training sessions for parents, specialists and carers so they can more efficiently support disabled children
  • Continuing to work in partnership with Dutch developers to translate any updates to the Picto-Selector database, creating a guidebook in Russian on how to use Picto-Selector for parents and specialists, and making this available for free on the website
  • Offering guidance and practical classes for parents and professionals on how to create basic low-tech devices for home use
  • Conducting webinars or seminars for other NGOs and groups working in similar fields.