Connecting the Dots: My Assistive Technology Story

Uploaded by indataprojectESC on 23.07.2009

>> Charisse: You can't drive a van like I can.
>> Nicholas: You can't query a database like I can.
>> Jackie: You can't keep in touch with family members like I can.
>> Tom: You can't read the fine print like I can.
>> Nicholas: There is so much that I can do now with assistive technology
that I could not do in years past.
For example, I can instant message with friends and family.
I can use Skype,
which is a very popular internet telephony application for the PC.
I can send and receive email with ease.
>> Charisse: Start at Easter Seals Crossroads.
It's the place to go.
You'll tell them what you can't do, and they'll tell you how you can do it.
>> Narrator: Assistive technology is opening doors to independence.
by making it easier to do the things that
most of us take for granted in our daily lives.
Having access to assistive devices can make all the difference
in the lives of people with disabilities.
>> Tom: It just made me feel good that there is help out there,
and I can continue to be a productive citizen and good father,
and it just gives me hope.
>> Narrator: The limitations from disabilities,
ranging from macular degeneration to paralysis, autism to blindness,
can be reduced through the use of assistive technology.
By focusing on the untapped abilities of a person,
Easter Seals Crossroads has so far enabled thousands of our friends,
family, and coworkers to live, learn, work, and play with greater ease.
>> Charisse: I mean basically I came in
and I said okay, this is what I'm going to do:
I'm buying a new business. I don't know anything about computers.
I need help.
>> Narrator: Easter Seals Crossroads has helped Hoosiers with disabilities
gain access to assistive technology since 1979.
Now in the 21st century, the biggest challenge remains the same:
getting the technology and the related training to those who need it.
>> Jackie My experience with Easter Seals has been very good.
The people know what they're doing.
They definitely know the technology backward and forward and upside down
in their area of expertise.
They will point you to the people who can best meet your needs
and answer your questions.
>> Narrator: The first step for many people
is arranging for a device demonstation,
a service that is available state-wide at regional locations.
This allows a person to spend time with a specialist for a hands-on experience.
>> Nicholas: There was a gentleman named Brian Norton who came
to my residence and he brought with him what was then a PAC MATE BX,
this is a Braille pocket PC.
He recommended that PAC Mate definitely be purchased for my college career,
as well as the JAWS for Windows screen reader.
>> Narrator: After the demonstattion, the INDATA team helps
to identify resources to get the best technology into the user's hands.
Device loans, funding assistance, equipment exchange, computer recycling;
these are just a few of the ways that Easter Seals Crossroads makes it happen.
>> Tom: She kind of showed me the different options they have,
and she even loaned some of the equipment to me,
which really got me used to what I wanted.
>> Narrator: Since access to the equipment is only the beginning,
the INDATA Project offers a number of training opportunities,
including quarterly small group presentations and an annual Assistive Technology Conference.
>> Charisse: Before assistive technology, there were things that
I just didn't think I could do, that I can do now.
[Using assistive technology] Scratch that. New Paragraph.
>> Narrator: Devices such as large print and talking computers,
Braille systems, magnifiers, communication devices, and hundreds of
other innovative products are becoming a part of daily living.
>> Tom: Before coming here to Easter Seals, I didn't know what technology was out there.
So to read a book, I was just using a little magnifying glass.
So coming here has opened up a lot of opportunities.
>> Narrator: Going to school.
>> Nicholas: When I'm in the classroom, I can take and review notes regularly.
>> Narrator: Starting a new career.
>> Charisse: I can run a business without anyone else. I can do it on my own.
>> Narrator: Building hope.
>> Tom: My father had the same condition that I've got, my grandfather had it,
and they did not have the opportunities, the technology to continue on like I have been.
>> Jackie: I am a Christian, I have a lot of faith in God,
and clearly speaking and clearly walking, I attribute it to being
totally miraculous.
>> Narrator: The opportunities are here and available now,
with assistive technology resources from the INDATA project at Easter Seals Crossroads.
>> Ewart: If you've got questions, we've got answers.
Contact the Easter Seals Crossroads INDATA hotline.