Matthew McKenna

PhD Student, Maynooth University

Project Title: Countering the Effects of Age-Related Disability Through the Integration and Mainstreaming of Assistive and Enabling Technologies: Adversity and Opportunity

Biography: I have a deep interest in the development of assistive technologies for persons with disabilities. I am also interested in the concept of ‘universal design’ and in the integration and mainstreaming of ‘enabling technologies’ within the public infrastructure of contemporary society. In 2017, I completed an internship within the National Disability Authority (NDA). I had the privilege of being able to work alongside the Centre of Excellence in Universal Design (CEUD) and attend their ‘panel of experts’ meetings. I attended the EU Disability Law and Policy module as part of my LLM in International Justice at Maynooth University 2016-17. I completed my LLM thesis under the following heading ‘Aligning Irish Disability Law with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006: Challenges and Perspectives’. In my research, I explored challenges of service-user leadership regarding assistive technology and subsequent procurement difficulties with technologies that incorporate the ethos of ‘universal design’. In 2019, I completed an internship in Brussels with the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD). The EASPD champions the cause of de-institutionalisation’ in methods of care for disabled persons.

Supervisors: Prof. Deirdre Desmond (MU) and Prof. Delia Ferri (MU)