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Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative

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Volume 19, No. 1 - Winter 2011

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What's Inside . . . Volume 19, No. 1, Winter 2011

Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008: Broader Protections for Individuals with Disabilities
In 1990, with the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Congress sent a powerful message to the country: discrimination by private and public entities against persons with disabilities would no longer be ignored. The ADA is composed of three main titles, each of which prohibits disability discrimination within a particular context.

drawing of the head of a red dog from Waggies logo. The remainder of Waggies Logo, which reads 'Waggies by Maggie & Friends. Healthy dog treats lovingly baked by persons with intellectual disabilities.

Homegrown in Delaware
Waggies by Maggie & Friends is a 501(c)(3) non-profit company founded in Wilmington, Delaware in November 2007 to employ persons with intellectual disabilities. Co-founders Leigh Corrigan and Mary Ann Nolan started this small business because of the inspiration and impetus gleaned from their daughters, Maggie and Elizabeth. Through the creation and selling of “healthy dog treats lovingly baked by persons with intellectual disabilities,” Maggie, Elizabeth, and others with intellectual disabilities participate in and enjoy the ever-growing world of gourmet dog treats as they bake, package, and market their all-natural specialty.

black and white image of Canine Partners for Life logo with silhouette of an individual sitting in a manual wheelchair reaching out to touch a dog that sits nearby.Pooch Power: Dogs for Independence
George takes a hesitant first step away from his bed in the morning. His legs are weak, and the halting nature of his walk from Parkinson’s disease has the potential to send him to the floor with a crash. It’s tough for this veteran—who was always in shape and took pride in his physical abilities—to accept the challenges now facing him. However, he knows that the balance and support his canine partner provides will keep him safely on his feet. He grabs Smokey’s handle and they begin to walk, together.

Home Is Where You Hang Your Hat
Think about what environmental qualities help you feel safe, secure, and comfortable. Whether you are indeed hanging your hat in your home or using various facilities—bathroom, kitchen, office space, entrances, exits—it can be helpful to think about the design and layout of the space. This article explores the purpose and benefits of an evaluation of commonly used spaces for individuals regardless of their physical, cognitive, and/or emotional limitations. Essentially, the goal of a home accessibility evaluation is to promote independence and safe access to maximize participation in meaningful activities inside and outside the home.

photo of a Kindle leaning against a row of hard-backed books. The display of a Stephen King novel is on the Kindle.Informed Consumers are Satisfied Consumers
We’ve all seen a commercial for a device or service that seems perfect for us or someone we know. In fact, many of us have purchased items only to find that they don’t meet our needs. This seems especially true for individuals with disabilities. Marketing directed at this population is strong, which may lead to uninformed purchases. Buyer’s remorse is real, but returning such items isn’t always easy. As individuals with disabilities and their families know, there is often a quest for a device that is “just the right fit.” Too bad we don’t always choose the best item for its intended use.

The AT Bargain Basement
Hello, True Believers, and welcome to another action-packed installment of the AT Bargain Basement (ATBB)! I am Marvin Williams, your guide in the land of assistive technology (AT) bargains. As usual, if you are a regular to the Basement, welcome back! If this is your first trip with us, I’m glad you could join the party. Before we get started, we need to look at the rules. The rules of the Basement are simple—I find AT bargains costing $100 or less and share them with you. I will be sure to let you know if you can find the bargains locally or if you need to order them over the telephone or Internet.

Save These Dates
LIFE Conference XII - January 19, 2011
Inclusion Conference - March 15, 2011
Transition Conference - March 31, 2011

graphic of the LIFE conference logo with four pictures presenting legislation, independence thru AT, Familes, and of four school-aged children, arm-in-arm, standing in a semi-circle, smiling, looking down at the camera.