Easterseals Crossroads recently received a generous grant from Comcast NBCUniversal. The Comcast NBCUniversal Assistive Technology Grant Fund was established to “enhance successful programs for people with disabilities and special needs by providing assessment, training, and support to address their long-term technology needs.” The grant will assist dozens of individuals with brain injuries through the Brain Injury Technology & Education Support (or BITES) Group.
As previously mentioned on a blog from 2015, approximately 5.3 million Americans are living with a long-term disability as a result of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). A TBI is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. The top three causes are car accidents, firearms, and falls. As with most disabilities, traumatic brain injuries are unique to each individual. This is where learning about different available technologies can prove useful.
Assistive technology can provide simple solutions for a myriad of cognitive challenges. Everyday tasks where technology can be beneficial include memory, task analysis, cognitive training/retraining, and much more.
The BITES group will provide a safe environment to practice skills and challenge one’s abilities. While attending the support group, individuals will:
- Learn about tools and tips for using technology to assist them with daily tasks
- Learn effective ways to use their smart devices
- Be in a safe environment where they can practice what they’ve learned
- Build peer support and online communities with technology professionals as well as others with brain injuries
Examples of potential assistive technologies include:
- Portable voice recorders
- Hand-held smart devices (e.g. tablets, smartphones, etc.)
- Virtual assistants (e.g. Amazon Echo, Google Home, etc.)
- Visual tools (e.g. timers, organization products like colorful markers, folders, etc.)
- Vibrating alarms
BITES participants will have access to state-of-the-art equipment and technology combined with a wide range of expertise and experience. At each meeting, there will be games, snacks, guest presentations and more.
The group will meet the third Wednesday of every month beginning on October 18, 2017. It’ll take place from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Easterseals Crossroads located at 4740 Kingsway Drive in Indianapolis.