Our birthday Standards Heroes have been nominated by their peers to represent all our contributors - individuals we consider to be the real heroes of standards, in Australia and internationally. We thank those who contribute their knowledge and expertise, service, and time to Standards Australia for the benefit of the Australian community.
Kristen Morris is a chartered engineer who has been involved in a broad range of rehabilitation and assistive technology areas and contributed significantly to the service delivery of assistive technology and improved outcomes for people living with disabilities. She is a Senior Project Officer at the National Disability Insurance Agency and Chair of Standards Australia Committee ME-067 Assistive Technology.
How did you become involved in standards development?
Managing a statewide fleet of assistive technology gave me great insights into failings within the market. I wanted to close the loop and provide this feedback and recommendations back into the Standards documentation. Assisting with improving the safety, performance and reliability of AT and setting a solid foundation within Standards to be able to refer to these documents in legislation.
What role have standards played in your career?
My career has required me to have a solid knowledge of all relevant assistive technology standards and the implications of these on individuals and the AT they use. Standards have supported me to present on developing areas of concern in Australia and feed this back at an International level.
What is a project you’ve been particularly proud to have helped deliver?
The revision of AS 3695.2, Wheelchairs Requirements and test methods for electrically powered wheelchairs (including mobility scooters), with the tightening of the copy right laws and similarities with the relevant European Standard EN12184, this revision helped build the working relationship between standards Australian and CEN.
Outside of standards development, what have been some highlights of your career?
I have contributed significantly to the service delivery of assistive technology and improved outcomes for people living with disability. Some of my highlights include the development and implementation of workflow efficiencies via an electronic platform. More recently I am very proud to work within the disability liaison program at Austin Health in Melbourne, working to improve barriers faced by people with disability accessing mainstream health services and building a culture of disability inclusion within the hospital. As the project lead, I’m working to establish disaggregated data in line with the United Nations disability inclusion strategy launched in June 2019.
What do you think the future of standardisation looks like?
We continue to revise and develop standards that support innovation and focus on performance rather than design. This is particularly important within Assistive Technology as we look to improve accessibility and integrate assistive technology into mainstream technology.