How technology can increase a person’s accessibility at work home and in social gatherings

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and so we wanted to talk about how the use of technology can increase a person's accessibility at work, at home and even in social settings.

Mike Wollenzien, Specialist Services Director of the Utah Center of Assistive Technology, and Chelle Wyatt, Hard of Hearing Specialist for the Utah Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, joined us with some important information about an upcoming job fair.

Adaptive technology is available for everyone at any level of ability.  Something as simple as a text message can help enhance communication between individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and individuals who are hearing.  Motorized chairs help individuals with physical mobility limitation to go to work and enjoy the world they live in.

Mike  and Chelle brought a few examples of new adaptive technology:

● Liftware: A specialized eating utensil that helps an individual with Parkinson`s disease or other neurological disorders stabilize their utensil to help them eat.
● Switch Adapted Toys: Toys which have been adapted so that they are easier for a child with disabilities to interact with, learn and develop skills.
● Speech-to-Text: The notes app on a mobile phone allows a user to speak into the phone`s microphone for quick and easy speech-to-text. This is a great example of adaptive technology for individuals who may not have the use of their hands to type.

On Saturday, October 18, the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation and Department of Workforce Services is hosting a Tech Fair; featuring technology to help improve accessibility for individuals who are Deaf, Deafblind, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, or have speech and mobility disabilities.

More than 20 vendors and agencies will be in attendance to share the latest emerging tech on the market.

This event is tailored to individuals with disabilities, but everyone is invited to attend, especially family and friends.

It's at the Sanderson Community Center, 5709 South 1500 West in Taylorsville from 10am to 3pm.

For more information, please visit: jobs.utah.gov/usor/dhh.

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