The Independo calendar app: A mom tells

Julia Kruselburger

Gundula, mother of independent user Abby (© Samuel Kuro)

In the world of technology, there are numerous apps that should make our lives easier. But which of them are really designed to support people with cognitive disabilities? We spoke with Gundula Schachtner, the mother of Abby Schachtner, a 15-year-old teenager with severe physical and cognitive disabilities. Gundula Schachtner, herself an assisted communication specialist, shares her experiences with the Independo app and how it makes everyday life easier for her family.

“How is the Independo app different from other available tools?” Let's ask Gundula. “The Independo app works with pictograms, with Metacom symbols,” she explains. “This is particularly useful for people who cannot read or write and still want to shape their everyday lives themselves. Independo is therefore not just a calendar app, but a learning tool.”

Abby and Gundula use the Independo app (© Samuel Kuro)

“It makes it easier for her to get through the day than if she didn't have the calendar.”

In our conversation, we also talked about the specific benefits that the Independo app offers for Gundula and her family. “The Independo app makes everyday life with my daughter easier because she can see in advance what's happening today or what's in store for us tomorrow,” she explains. “It makes it easier for her to get through the day than if she didn't have the calendar.” “She can also tell me in advance what she would like to do tomorrow, whether she would like to go to a performance, visit grandma and grandpa, or whether she would like to go to school.”

Everyone has their own personal favorite feature

Of course, we were also curious about Abby and Gundula's favorite features and immediately asked questions “My favorite feature is the photo function, which allows you to add photos directly to appointments,” says Gundula. “This makes it easier to visually understand what has been experienced. It is also possible to talk about what happened at the same time, whether you enjoyed it or whether it was less great.”

Thank you, dear Gundula, for taking the time to talk to us about the Independo app and tell us about your experiences!

Julia Kruselburger

Julia is studying Biomedical Engineering at TU Wien and has worked on assistive technologies as part of her studies. She has also taken part in numerous inclusive summer camps herself.

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