Tag Archives: comcast

More on Power of Technology & Big Thanks to Comcast!

Without therapy, training or intervention, people with disabilities can face lifelong challenges.That includes millions of children with disabilities, and for many of them it is not a lack of intelligence or ability, but a lack of training, education L1000552or access to the tools and technology that limits their futures. 

Consider the Gonzalez family, whom I met a few months ago in my office at Easter Seals Greater Houston. The two youngest Gonzalez children, ages 5 and 6, are healthy, funny and talkative,while the two older children, Matthew, 9,  and Matilda, 11, can neither walk nor talk. When we met, their mother told us that Matthew and Matilda were assumed to be very low functioning because of their significant physical disabilities. Unfortunately, they were never given an assessment to determine if technology could help them.  It could.

Within the first 15 minutes of working with an Easter Seals specialist, Matthew, who has limited use of his hands, was using a touch screen on a communication device. Matilda, who can only control the movement in her eyes, was using a communication device powered by her eye gaze. They both sped through the basics – “yes” and “no,” then four-word sentences, and then on to more complex communication. Within minutes, they were communicating, for the first time in their lives, with their mother and siblings.DSCN0121

This is the sort of life-changing impact we have every day at Easter Seals Houston, in part due to the support of our community and partners like Comcast who understand that we all deserve an opportunity to succeed.

Last year, Easter Seals Houston received a grant from the Comcast Foundation to support our BridgingApps Project, which helps families, like the Gonzalez’s, bridge the gap between technology and people with disabilities.Comcast’s support allowed us to significantly expand in-person services and our website content, which reached over 20,000 users each month. The grant also helped us expand the project to Austin and the Rio Grande Valley in collaboration with Easter Seals Central Texas and Easter Seals Rio Grande Valley.TCEA conference 2

With the impact of projects like ours in Houston, Comcast broadened its support last January by naming Easter Seals its newest national partner, launching the Comcast Assistive Technology Grant Fund to support Easter Seals affiliates who are working to bring technology resources to individuals and families. The partnership also includes airtime for public service announcements to raise awareness of Easter Seals’ services, particularly our early intervention programs such as Make the First Five Count. We are thrilled about our partnership with Comcast, which this year will allow us to develop a year-long “camp” for children with disabilities, siblings and parents to learn how to use technology focused on improving communication, and support other Easter Seals projects across the country that are helping children and individuals with special needs achieve the best quality of life.

ESGH is proud to have the generous support of Comcast. Easter Seals Houston’s BridgingApps
Program and this blog were featured in their company blog http://corporate.comcast.com/comcast-voices/using-technology-to-empower-people-with-special-needs

Elise Hough, CEO, Easter Seals Greater Houston

Leave a comment

Filed under Latest News

The Power of Access and Technology

IMG_1057As a Social Work Intern at Easter Seals Greater Houston, I am always astounded by the wonderful opportunities that our support services and resources provide to our clients. I wanted to take the time to share with everyone the transformation I have seen in our adult clients in the LEAD (Life Enrichment for Adults with Disabilities) through the assistance of technology.

We recently received new IPADS for the program (thank you anonymous donor from National Charity League!, AT&T and Comcast), and the elation of “owning” a new, shiny, and most importantly, customizable and current device is continuously evident on all of our client’s faces. Everyone in our program, even our most senior of members, have quickly learned how to use this new tool to expand their independence through communication, education, and social apps. We have worked together, along with our Apps expert in our BridgingApps program, to personalize and meet the needs of our clients. There is a visible increase in confidence in everyone’s eyes and they are so excited to be able to take part in so many things that they have been hearing about…why should they be excluded? Being able to access and use an IPAD has made our clients feel empowered, more in control and more a part of A COMMUNITY.IMG_1053 I felt this defining moment after learning that my clients were using their Ipads while making their long trips to their destinations on Metrolift or to plan social events and activities. Another experience was learning that some of our clients were using the Ipad apps to find more customizable voices for communication! Everyone was happy to find out that they could choose warmer, more human voices instead of the generic ones available on other AAC devices . This allowed them to choose how they wanted to be represented via their technology communication. The opportunity to use IPADS for our adult program has really made a difference in their lives. This tool has allowed for more independence and learning that is matched to each user’s interests and goals.

Emmony Pena, Social Work Intern, Easter Seals Greater Houston, from U of H Graduate Collage of Social Work

Leave a comment

Filed under Latest News