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Assistive Technology Fair showcases communication tools used by people who have disabilities

By Ann Norman,
Published Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Continuing advancements in technology help all of us communicate more quickly and efficiently, and that's no different for people who have developmental disabilities.

The Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities recently hosted its first community Assistive Technology Fair to allow the public to view and interact with devices often used by their clients.

Cutting-edge technologies such as assistive robots, eye movement tracking devices, enhanced video displays and voice recognition software were all on display at the Medina Library last Friday.

"We are thrilled to be able to host this event," said Connie Hartman, MCBDD assistive technology coordinator.

"Our agency is proud to support a program that enables people with disabilities to use technology to connect in more meaningful ways to their family, friends and especially their communities," she said.

The MCBDD provides assistive technology resources such as iPads, interactive communication software and other electronic communication devices to help their clients increase their communication, self-reliance and employment skills, she said.

It's all about helping them develop more independence.

"We know assistive technology helps people with disabilities become more fully involved in community life, and we are constantly looking for new ways to use technology to break down barriers," Hartman said.

"This fair helps us spread the word about the importance of making sure technology is available to hose who can benefit from it most," she said.

Visitors to the fair had a chance to try out various technologies, including a Tap-It screen and a miniature robot, and to talk with people who use assistive technology on a daily basis.

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