Does Assistive Technology benefit everyone?

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For the Umatuna Si Yu’os

An Assistive technology (AT) device is any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially, off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to “increase, assist, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.” However, anyone can use assistive technology.

There are two upcoming events that will showcase the various AT available for persons to improve their overall quality of life.  The first event is the Annual Assistive Technology Fair, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 4, at the Micronesia Mall.   The second event is the 23rd Annual Guam System for Assistive Technology (GSAT) Assistive Technology Conference, scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, March 10, at the Westin Resort Guam.

Assistive Technology such as the following will be demonstrated:

AT for Hearing – Sign language and devices like the UbiDuo and CART – “Communication Access Real Time Translation” that transcribes audio presentations to print on a large screen.

AT for Vision – Smartphones and iPads used today are helpful not only for those with low vision, but for everyone from toddlers learning new words to the manamko who need assistance to view small print. The Livescribe 3 Smartpen is an audio recorder that captures written content and then displays it on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod device.

AT for Mobility – Ramps built with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifications are designed for persons with mobility challenges to access entrances and exits. They serve those who use wheelchairs, canes, and strollers, which are forms of assistive technology.

AT for Memory and Daily Living – There are products like Reminder Rosie, personal FM listening systems, screen readers, audio books, talking calculators, and many more.

AT in Church – While some churches in Guam are accessible with ADA parking, ramps, and bathrooms, others need renovations to make accommodations possible. Some already have designated areas in pews for wheelchairs, large print music and liturgy books, screens displaying lyrics and a hospitality ministry for assistive services.

The community is invited to attend this Fair and Conference to learn more about AT. Pre-registration is required for the Conference as space is limited. For more info., please call Leah Abelon or Mary Kidd at 735-2490 or send email to leah.abelon@guamcedders.org.