"It's the people who do all of the work all the time who eventually catch on to things." ~ Corita Kent
The above quote perfectly explains why I know anything ever. Because I work. A lot. And today I am going to share a bit of knowledge I have gained. And as a reward, if you stick with me through this post, I will tell you about my proud moment. It's a bit of an exciting announcement.
Do you know what assistive technology is?
Wikipedia defines it thusly:
"Assistive Technology is an umbrella term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities and also includes the process used in selecting, locating, and using them. AT promotes greater independence by enabling people to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing, by providing enhancements to, or changing methods of interacting with, the technology needed to accomplish such tasks."
Here is an example of assistive technology that you can probably experiment with right now at home: Let's say that you have an iPhone, but you have a physical disability that prevents you from being able to push down on the power button at the top of the phone or perhaps you have difficulty using the touch screen feature. Apple, in its infinite awesomeness, has you covered! Simply go into Settings, General, Accessibility, and then go down to Assistive Touch and turn it on. This feature will allow you to experiment with alternative ways to control your iPhone thus making the iPhone features accessible to you.
Why is assistive technology important? Think of how often you use technology (and by technology I don't just mean computers and smart phones). For better or worse, technology is more than probably an integral part of your daily life. Now imagine the frustration of not being able to access any of this technology because it was not designed with you in mind. It could affect your ability to communicate, to work, to live. It could be quite disenfranchising, to say the least.
That is why assistive technology is so important. It keeps people from being cut off from modern society and all the opportunity it affords.
And that is why I am so honored and excited (and nervous) to announce that I have been appointed as the Executive Director of the Technology Access Center of Tucson (TACT). TACT is a nonprofit organization aimed at giving individuals with disabilities an opportunity to explore technology that may enhance their independence, productivity, recreation, and social opportunities according to their individual needs and interests. As the Executive Director, I will be taking over the administrative side of the organization, which includes (gulp) grant writing.
To learn more about TACT, you can check out our website: http://www.uacoe.arizona.edu/tact/. You could also (and oh pretty please do!) like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TACTTucson.
I rarely offer such specific personal information here on this blog. I definitely never mention places I work by name, but this is something special for a few reasons: 1. I am so beyond honored that the TACT Board of Directors and the previous Executive Director have given me this opportunity, that it feels appropriate to publicly express my gratitude. 2. Part of my role as Executive Director is to raise awareness (and funding) for TACT and its capabilities. 3. It is a really great excuse for why I neglect this blog. On top of this new privilege and responsibility, I will still have my main job, a few side projects here and there, and the other 8,000 things I always have going on. 4. I am open to any advice, resources, and references you may have. Do you have experience grant writing? Fund raising? Give me all you got!
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I look forward to sharing more with you in the future about the Technology Access Center of Tucson, assistive technology, and the ups and downs of managing a nonprofit organization.