Our first conference of the year will be a gathering of the world’s leading assistive technology professionals at the annual Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) conference in sunny (hopefully) Orlando. This year’s event is designed to give all attendees the tools and knowledge they need to solve their most difficult challenges, discover the latest products, and share their expertise in best practices for using assistive technology.
But what exactly is assistive technology?
ATIA defines assistive technology as “any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities.” It includes assistive, adaptive and rehabilitative devices that promote independence, enabling people to perform tasks they were unable to perform previously, or had trouble doing, by enhancing their interaction with the technology needed to accomplish tasks. However, individual states and provinces often have their own definition.
Companies developing assistive technology tools for the special needs community inspire acceptance and understanding on a much larger scale. Accepting an individual who communicates in a different way offers a chance to learn new ways of communicating and functioning as a community. There are dozens of new products and services available introduced every year that make life a little easier for children and adults with special needs. That alone is inspiring.
At ATIA, CB&A’s Charlene Blohm and Arc Capital’s Kevin Custer are co-presenting a session, "Innovations that Inspire: Transformational AT Technologies." They will address transformational assistive technologies and the stakeholders involved in the development process. Charlene and Kevin will discuss the present and near future of innovative assistive technologies, focusing their presentation on:
1. Multiple research pathways and the critical role of user experience for young companies and burgeoning new technologies.
2. Ten noteworthy innovations from companies developing products such as robots, wearable technology, communication tools and more.
3. Learning how to open doors to tangenial markets by asking what problem the product is solving.
Charlene and Kevin’s session at ATIA is on Saturday, Jan. 21, 9:20 – 10:20 a.m. Learn more about the program here.
What developments have inspired you recently? Share your experience with us here or at ATIA.