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ADA Blog – North Carolina Assistive Technology Program (NCATP)

By Lynne Deese, Assistive Technologist/Media and Training Coordinator

NCATP Center Adaptive Garden ToolsThis photo features a wall of adaptive garden tools in an NCATP Center

NCATP LogoNCATP logo: a purple flower petal outline with a hand pressing a tablet screenI was recently tasked to write a curriculum for Vocational Rehabilitation counselors as a part of my job with the North Carolina Assistive Technology Program (NCATP) and our parent agency the NC Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (NCVR). Although many of the students accessing this curriculum will be new counselors, their degree work has helped to familiarize them with the ADA. For more experienced counselors, their experience has taught them how difficult it can be to secure accessible work placements for their clients.

Each counselor is impacted by the reality that there is scarcely a single job that is not touched by technology these days. These counselors will find that the need for accommodation will extend from simple to complex technologies. It may begin with the need for assistance in getting out of bed, getting through health and hygiene routines, getting dressed, eating breakfast as well as many other tasks in the client’s daily routine that make getting out into the community possible. It may end with sophisticated computer access, in addition to mobility, architectural and vehicle modifications. Indeed, assistive technology and the access to life and work that it provides cannot be understated. Our Vimeo album entitled AT Explorers (https://vimeo.com/album/5149220) gives ten examples of individuals who have faced a maze of challenges and emerged successfully as contributing members of the workforce, the classroom and the community.  

NCATP works to ensure that activities of daily life are within the reach of our clients with disabilities. We acknowledge and are grateful for the protections that the ADA has provided for all citizens that deal with disability now or in the future. The ADA has fueled the need for accommodations in the community and continues to make it possible to alter the perception of disability replacing the perception with one of capability.

NCATP Vendor HallIndividuals visit various assistive technology tables at an NCATP Vendor HallNCATP is not alone in their effort to change minds and lives. We partner with non-profits, schools, other state agencies, families and vendors to carve out the kind of life that the ADA has claimed as an entitlement. Assessments, training, equipment demonstrations and loan as well as consultation are ways that NCATP addresses the needs of its clients. In a further effort to familiarize our clients, families and other support persons with available technology, NCATP is sponsoring the Assistive Technology Vendor Expo on October 5th, 2018. Back by popular demand, this event focuses on vendors and services by offering hands-on demonstrations of equipment, information tables sponsored by community non-profits and Stephen E. Sallee PhotoBlack and white photo of Stephen E. Sallee sitting behind a microscope20-minute vendor trainings. The event will be held at the McKimmon Conference and Training Center, 1101 Gorman St. Raleigh, NC 27606. It is open to the public, and admission is free. Interested parties can register at Eventbrite (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/assistive-technology-vendor-fair-tickets-46624870242). We will also be acknowledging the contribution of an Assistive Technology User and an Assistive Technology Professional through our Stephen E. Sallee Awards of Excellence. You can learn more about nominating a deserving AT User or AT Professional at Stephen E. Sallee Award Website (https://www.ncdhhs.gov/stephen-e-sallee-assistive-technology-awards-excellence). To keep abreast of the conference details, visit the 2018 Assistive Technology Vendor Expo (https://ncdhhs.gov/expo) website today and often prior to the Expo!

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