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Nov 17, 2013 (3 years and 10 months ago)

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WELCOME TO THE HOME PAGE OF

BENTECH

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES


“New Technologies


New Abilities”


Home

Story

Structure

Expertise

Mission
Statement

Ben’s House
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Men’s
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THE
BENTECH STORY


BenT
ech is an organisation set
up by

a group of enthusiastic

and

talented professionals to take new and emerging technologies and apply them
to the needs of
people with
physical and mental disabilities. The
se

disabilit
ies

may be a result of
illness, accident o
r the aging process.

The organisation is a not for profit one which

is intended

to be funded
by

government grants, private gifts and payment for services where
appropriate. Any profits made by the organisation will be returned to the organisation’s researc
h and development so that those most in need
are able to utilise the most up to date technologies available.


The organisation has evolved from the initial work of the late Ben Brown who

was

severely

physically disabled and planned

and built a
house

which

was fully automated,

allowing him to live alone and fairly independently. In the area of the house where he lived
almost

all the functions
were controlled by voice commands. His need for carers was reduced significantly which meant that his living costs w
ere reduced, he had
more control over his
life

and his dependence on others was
decreased

substantially. Subsequent to his death, his family and friends decided
that his legacy live on with his efforts being continued and
further develo
ped, employing new t
echnologies

for
others with disabilities

and

all
those
who

have a need.

The project
looks
to the modern home as more than protection from wind, rain and
outside threats

and see
s

it as an all
-
embracing means of
meeting our complex set of needs for communication, mobility, care and effi
ciency. This need is
even more important

for those who are
with
limited abilities
so it is fitting that we should

initially

aim our developments at
this group.

As a result of the above Ben
T
ech has made its maiden project the
Ben
’s

House Project.

The project
will take

two years and is due for
completion in April 2015.




BENTECH STRUCTURE

The B
en
T
ech
A
ssistive
T
echnologies (BAT)
is a not for profit o
r
ganisation

whose members work largely voluntarily unless they are paid under
specific

project funding such as the Ben

s House Project
which is
supported by
a substantial State government grant, private gifts and payment
for services where appropriate.

Any

profits made by the organisation will be fed back into the organisation’s research and development
to ensure that the most up to date
technologies are made available to those who can benefit from them.

The organisation
will seek to run its project by a
committe
e

of relevant stakeholders
.

In the case of the Bens House Project it
is guided by a
steering committee with a membership of half from the original founders of BAT and half from the My Place Foundatio
n. My Place is a not
-
for
-

profit, incorporated as
sociation established to receive and manage direct care service funding allocated to those who do not want the hassle
of administering their own support, but still want a say in how, when, where and by whom that support is provided.

My Place is the receive
r and administrator of all donations and grant money for BAT. This enables those involved with BAT to focus their
efforts on the research and development role for which it was established.
My Place is approved by the Australian Government as a Deductible
G
ift Recipient which means that any gifts to BAT made through My Place are considered fully tax deductible.

Some of those working for BAT are working on a paid basis but most of the efforts by BAT participants are done on a voluntary

basis.

BAT has establis
hed a base in the newly completed Mosman Park Community Men’s Shed
,

which is
located

on Tom Perrot Reserve in Mosman
Park. BAT has leased space for an office and electronics area in the MPCMS
,

as well as having access to

the existing

workshop facilities an
d
a
meeting room. As an added benefit to being in the MPCMS, some of the members of the Shed
have become actively involved

in the BAT
research and development activities.

During the initial two year
s of

Ben

s House Project

a needs survey

has been

undertake
n to determine
what

assistive technology
is of
need
to

the disability and frail aged sectors. The results of this research will guide the planning of this and further projects for
the
Ben
T
ech
organisation.



EXPERTISE

Over a short period of time BenT
ech As
sistive Technologies
has established

a group of highly capable, innovative and creative people who are
very committed to the organisation

and

t
his group have a very wide range of skills. The core work of the organisation is in the fields of
electronics, so
ftware

engineering

and mechatronics
,

but the organisation also has access to therapists, business advisors, lawyer
s

and experts
in the aged and disability sector.


THE STEERING COMMITTEE


Richard Allen
-

Managing Director of the Project


Training in
industrial design and teaching, in design and technology teaching in secondary education, experience
-
secondary design and
technology teaching, establishing and operating small businesses, design, developing and patenting new equipment.



Prof. Marc Tennant

-

BenTech Co
-
Founder and consultant


Winthrop Professor UWA, extensive experience
,

research and development in the dental, medical and research areas, strong advocate of
social justice for low income communities.



Dr Derek Milton


Consultant


Extensive
experience in business establishment and consultation, lecturing UWA, software engineering and practical experience with voic
e
recognition systems.



Tony Brown
-

BenTech Co
-
Founder and Director



Training in design and technology teaching, physics and
engineering, extensive experience in secondary and tertiary education as a teacher,
Head of Department and Deputy Principal and university lecturer, experience in designing and developing.


Dr Phil Deschamp


Consultant and Mentor


A Director of My Place F
oundation with extensive experience in the fields of
e
ducation and
d
isability
.
His

earlier roles include chairing the
Board of the Quadriplegic Centre, the Ministerial Advisory Council for Disability Services and the Disability Services Commis
sion’s Standa
rds
Monitoring Committee.



Dr Tony Ryan


Chairman of the Steering Committee

and Consultant


Lecturer and researcher in Curtin and Notre Dame Universities, Director of the Broome Campus of Notre Dame

and Quality Management on
the Fremantle Campus. Tony has extensive experience in survey structure, implementation and analysis.



Dr Greg Lewis


Cons
ultant


Clinical Psychologist who has worked in the disability field for 30 years.
He

has been the Direc
tor of Country Services and a member of the
Corporate Executive of the Disabilities Services Commission.
Greg was formally National President of the Australian Society for the Study of
Intellectual Disability and of National Disability Services. He is at
present Executive Director of EDGE Employment Solutions
,

a disability
employment agency he founded.



Mr Peter Dunn


Consultant

Non
-
Executive member of the board of My Place (WA) Pty Ltd
who has
had extensive

experience in working and designing services
for people
with a disability and their families.

Peter has worked as a teacher and a principal with the

West Australian Education Department and

was the
inaugural Local Area Coordinator for the Lower Great Southern region of Western Australia with Disabili
ty Services Commission.



Advisory and Consulting

G
abrielle Brown (
Co
-
Founder and

General
Assistant
)

Teacher with specialisation in ESL and library studies, c
hair of several not for profit organisations, volunteer for a disability organisation and
first
h
an
d

experience with persons with a disability


Denham Dunstall (Technical consultant)

Extensive background in electronics, software development and mechatronics
,

at present the Director of
Exhibition Design and Development
at Scitech.


Tim
Hantke

(
Promotions

and Marketing Consultant)

At present the CEO of two consulting organisations and has been CEO of large national companies and chair of a national not f
or profit
organisation.


Tahlia

Jayde

(Voice recognition Consultant)

Talia has extensive experience in
voice recognition. She has work in sales, training and re configuration of Naturally Speaking software.




MISSION STATEMENT

for the Ben’s House Project


Create an
organization

to co
-
ordinate the adapt
ion of

existing homes and to design

new homes to enabl
e independent living for people with
disabilities. This service may end up extending beyond the home int
o recreational and work spaces.

T
he
organization

will provide advice, co
-
ordinate trade services, provide products and components to assist the customer

and fully install
living assistance systems and the necessary controls.

T
he
organization

will establish a website to provide assistance to people seeking help in this area and to provide a link for associated servi
ces
such as occupational therapists, arch
itects, and the carers of people with disabilities.

T
he
organization

will have a building available to the public so they can view the various devices
and controls
, to provide workshop facilities to
develop specialized components as well as laboratory faci
lities for the development of software and meeting rooms for the co
-
ordination of
and development of services.

T
he
organization

will use the services of a full time
manager, secretarial assistance

and contract

labour for the various skills required for
ins
tallation and maintenance of systems, both voluntary and paid work in the development and manufacture of specialised equipmen
t.

T
he
organization

will be overseen by a small board of directors who will be responsible for the administration of resources and
the
procurement of funds and resources rel
ating

to the operation of the organization. The manager will be responsible to the board and recruited
by the board.

T
he
organization

will be largely
self
-
funding

by way of memberships and sale of services but wil
l be not
-
for
-
profit with all surpluses
to
be held
for the
development and

enhancement of the lives of people with disabilities. The allocation of surplus funds will be the responsibility of the
board.

The
organization

will assist in the protection of intel
lectual property for individuals and be licensed to use this intellectual property in the
provision of its services.

Where appropriate the intellectual property will also be marketed to able bodied people on a commercial basis to assist in th
e accumulation

of
funds.

The organization

will provide a forum and facility for groups of interested people to develop new technologies related to improving the
independent lives of disabled persons.

The organization

will stock and supply key equipment for the automation of homes providing

installers a one stop shop for procuring key
parts.




BEN’S HOUSE PROJECT

Th
e

first project will be known as Ben’s House Project and will be

developed and implemented

in conjunctio
n with
My Place Foundation.

Over

the first two years

Ben
T
e
ch Assistive Technologies will es
tablish the concept of an automated house design

under the banner of Ben’s
House project (BHP)

that utilises new technologies and
is

designed to suit
a common

range of disabilities
.

The aim of the Ben

s House Project is to research, develop and implement a
variety

of home automation devices a
nd an integrated control
system

to operate them suitable for a range of disabilities. In addition an installation centre
is to be established to carry forward the
development in the future.

A needs survey will be the starting
point of the BHP and

will be conducted with a group of twenty five My Place clients with
diverse physical
and mental
disabilities
, as well as those who
se abilities are affected by the aging process.

The analysis of the survey result will provide
guidance and priorities for the project’s directions.

The systems developed as a result of the project will make living

independently and

in their own residence easier and more comfortable for
those

in this specific group
.

This concept plan will provide detailed information on how such systems can be implemented, sources of personnel to undertake

the
implementation, training on how systems
are used and actual examples of how
the
systems operate. In the latter case a model of an
automated house will be produced, a video demonstrating how automated house systems can aid disabled persons and a house will

be
retrofitted with a variety of actual
systems where
people

can have hands on experience of the benefits of automation. Th
ese

house
s

will be
available

for
viewing
to interested members of the public.




SPONSORS


The key sponsor of the Ben’s House Project is the Government of Western Australia

through the Department for Communities. The
Department for Communities has given BenTech Assistive Technologies a substantial grant to establish an organisation to resea
rch and
develop state of the art systems

to aid those with

physical and mental disabil
ities, as well as those whose abilities are affected by the aging
process.

This grant is for a period of two years.


Tom Kendall, Managing Director of Mintrex Engineering Pty Ltd has made a serious donation of money over the first twelve mont
hs to provide

a “kick start” to the project. As well as his monetary contribution Tom has arranged for some of his staff to volunteer their

time as consultants
to the project,



Tim Brown, the older brother of Ben made a cash donation to
the project in its early days
to get the project established.

John and Pat

Allen, parents of the project’s Managing Director, have made a cash donation to the project.


BenTech Assistive Technologies and its first project
,

Ben’s House Project
, is

very dependent on the enormous contribution that has been
committed by the volunteers. These volunteers have, even before the official start of the project, donated their time
selflessly

to a wide range
of tasks that are require
d

for a project of this siz
e and complexity.

The Mosman Park Community Men’s Shed
,

through its committee and its members
,

has been a keen and active supporter of the project.

The Brown family
is,

and will be
,

forever grateful to those who have committed their

money,

time, expertise
and
passion

to
make this vision a
reality.












NNEWSLETTERS


Links to the newsletters
-

One , Two and three so far




CONTACTS

BenTech Assistive Technolog
ies

Mosman Park Men’s Community Shed

Tom Perrott Reserve, McCabe Street

Mosman Park 6012

(08)
9286 3020


Web:
www.bentech.org.au



Tony Brown (Founder)

Email:
tonygabi@bigpond.net.au

Phone: (08) 9386 3449 Mobile: 0439 165 758


My Place

17 York Street, Sub
iaco 6008 Western Australia

Telephone: (08) 6380 2927

Facsimile: (08) 9388 7979

Email:
myplace@myplace.org.au

Postal Address: PO Box 869 Subiaco 6904


Mosman Park Community Men’s Shed

Tom Perrott Reser
ve, McCabe Street, Mosman Park
6012

Telephone: (08) 9383 3354

Email:
admin@mpms.org.au