Hooray for National Tech Day By: Guest Bloggers-George Myers & Marci Straughter

Today is National Technology Day and I’m excited! As a person with a disability, technology has opened my world to live a life filled with independence. Not only has various technologies helped me, but it has also helped many of my peers. Thanks to the Ohio Tech Ambassador’s Network and the Tech Ambassadors, many others will have the chance to become informed on technology that can change their lives for the better. A Tech Ambassador is a person with disabilities who usse technology in their everyday lives and are now sharing with other Ohioans on how it can enhance their lives. Lend your attention to today’s guest bloggers, George and Marci, as they share information on this amazing program that will help many.


Thanks so much to Shari Cooper for allowing us to talk about supportive technology and the Ohio Tech Ambassador Network on National Tech Day! In July of 2021 our program was renewed for two additional years after a whirlwind ride where we hosted 13 virtual technology events between January and May 2021.


We have many exciting things going on right now, including having just hired three additional Tech Ambassadors! Renee Wood, Brad Whitmoyer and Jen Schlegel have just joined our team, bringing the total number of Tech Ambassadors to eight. We are spending time on orientation and planning for some new events to begin in early 2022 and we are very hopeful that we will be able to hold some in person events during 2022! This will be both a new challenge and also a new opportunity to reach some families that may not attend a virtual event.


Another addition to the Tech Ambassador program is that we will be sending out a newsletter to counties throughout the state, highlighting what our Tech Ambassadors are doing and talking about supportive technology. Look for our first newsletter to arrive in January. If you would like to be on the list of people we notify about this new resource, you can send your email address to us at info@ohiotechambassdors.org.


Would you or someone you know benefit from spending time with a Tech Ambassador? We have added a convenient way for individuals, families and organizations to request meetings with our Tech Ambassadors which you can find at http://ohiotechambassdors.org/request. We hope many people across Ohio will use this resource!


George Myers

Grant Director


Hi everyone, and thanks to Shari for allowing me the opportunity to share about the technology I use in my everyday life to help me feel safer and more independent! My favorite technology is my remote support portal because this tablet not only connects me to my friends and family with Facebook, Zoom or Teams but also connects me to my remote support staff whenever I have a question or need help!


I also really like my August door lock because I have a hard time turning a key in traditional locks and the August app allows me to lock and unlock my front door with an app on my phone. Like many other people, I love my Ring Doorbell camera because I can see who is at my door and before I open it – sometimes I decide not to answer!


My Nest thermostat has large numbers and is much easier to read and use than the old thermostat. Right now, I also have a Nest camera in the living area of my apartment that allows my remote support staff to see what’s happening.


I love my Amazon Echo Show because it not only gives me access to all the Alexa features many people enjoy (like playing music), but the video screen allows me to call up recipes when I am cooking – one of my favorite things to do!  Two new technologies I have recently added to my Smart Home are smart light bulbs I can turn on and off with Alexa and a smart Smoke Detector that will call 911 and my remote support provider if it detects smoke in my apartment.


All these technologies help me feel so much better about living by myself instead of feeling scared like I used to feel. I hope you’ll consider trying some of the  things that work for me. If you are an individual with a developmental disability, you should talk to your advisor/advocate  about getting these technologies or others so you can live more independently too. And, as I always say, remember to stir it up and Keep it Cookin!


Mari Straughter

Tech Ambassador

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