Assistive technology plays a major role in people with disabilities’ lives. Because of assistive technology, many of my friends are living independently.
I’m happy to report; Ohio is the first state that has taken the wheel to ensure people with disabilities receive the services. Former Governor John Kasich signed a Technology First executive order into play last year.
You may be thinking how can assistive technology enhance one’s independence? As for me, I would be lost without my IPhone. When feeling fatigued pushing buttons can become a hassle but thanks to my IPhone’s trusty features, I can still work it. My IPhone can be activated by my voice, which now makes it easier to pull up an application, phone number or Facebook. It may be just a feature to some but it’s a lifesaver to me. Also, I especially love my Notes application. Have you ever been on the phone with a customer service representative and then you receive a confirmation number? It used to be a major pain for me to try and find a piece of paper, stabilize a pen in my hand and write down the number. With my IPhone, I no longer have a writing dilemma. I’m able to grab my phone and jot down a number or note. And thanks to the word prediction feature, taking notes are easy and quick.
As for some of my friends, assistive technology has been a Godsend. Due to assistive technology, they are able to open doors, cut lights on and off as well as search and play their favorite songs.
Of course, when talking about technology, we’re talking about a lot of money that many persons with disabilities can’t’ afford. Most are on fix incomes and don’t have the disposable income needed to purchase high ticket items. Thanks to the executive order Kasich signed, trying to round up enough funds to get what you need is no longer an issue. If, receiving services from a county board, the order will allow funds to be used for assistive technology if there’s a need that will enhance one’s quality of life. This is written in a person’s Individual Support Plan (ISP).
This Ohio technology executive order is truly a win for people with disabilities. As a person with a disability, I know I value anything and everything I can do for myself. Whether it’s big or small, the feeling of accomplishment when completing a task is overwhelming. Tasks that were once difficult or impossible will now be doable and easier with assistive technology, and for that, we will have more independence. Thank you, Ohio, for getting the ball rolling. Hopefully, other states will follow your lead.