For the Umatuna Si Yu’os
An annual Fair followed by a Conference will be held in early March to share information on Assistive Technology. The Guam System for Assistive Technology’s (GSAT) 23rd Annual Assistive Technology (AT) Fair will take place 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, March 4 at Micronesia Mall’s Center Court and the GSAT AT Conference will be 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, March 10, at Westin Resort Guam Somnak Ballroom.
The two events’ primary focus is to increase public awareness about assistive technology and its positive impact for persons with disabilities. Assistive technology (AT) is defined as “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.” To many, these are annual events that connect with individuals who are identified as being blind, have low vision, are deaf or hard of hearing, have a mobility impairment, learning disability, and other limitations. This year’s events are not only for those born with a disability but for all others who have acquired a disability due to an accident, illness, or aging. Veterans, manamko, and any persons who have experienced a limitation due to an accident or illness that has affected one or more major life functions are invited and warmly encouraged to attend the Fair and Conference.
The Fair will offer demonstrations, entertainment, displays, and face-to-face meetings with organizations, businesses, and agencies about products and services. Whether for educating a child, service for a veteran, manamko assistance, assistive technology device for employment or a loan for a product, service providers will be available to share information and assistive technology devices to explore.
The AT Conference will have plenary sessions on assistive technology in the workplace and community, case laws affecting assistive technology, and educational interactive activities featuring low tech devices and free apps. Early registration is encouraged due to limited seating.
Both events are made possible through GSAT with Tri-Agency support from the University of Guam Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Services (Guam CEDDERS); the Guam Developmental Disabilities Council; Guam Legal Services – Disability Law Corporation, and the Department of Integrated Services for Individuals with Disabilities – Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.
For the church community, online sources are available providing guidance specifically for persons with disabilities, their families, and community. Visit United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) at www.usccb.org and the National Catholic Partnerships on Disability (NCPD) at www.ncpd.org for testimonials, handouts, resources.