Celebrating the First National Assistive Technology Awareness Day

Tomorrow, April 17, 2024, is a significant milestone—it’s the first National Assistive Technology (AT) Awareness Day. As one of the panelists at this year’s CCD Capitol Hill Briefing, I am privileged to speak on the pivotal role of assistive technologies in fostering independence and inclusion for people with disabilities.

What is the CCD?

The Consortium for Constituents with Disabilities (CCD) is a coalition of approximately 100 national organizations that advocate for inclusive public policies. These organizations collectively strive to ensure self-determination, independence, empowerment, and integration of individuals with disabilities into society.

My Role and Advocacy

Invited by ASHA, a CCD member, I will share insights on how assistive technologies not only support but significantly enhance the lives of many. Here are some sobering statistics from a recent Senate draft resolution:

  • The CDC reports that one in four Americans has a disability—totaling nearly 61 million people.
  • Over 7.3 million children with disabilities were recorded during the 2021–2022 school year.
  • Among adults aged 65 and older, two in five live with a disability.

These figures underline the critical need for assistive technology, which includes any item or service that improves the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

The Impact of Assistive Technology

Assistive devices are far from being luxury items; they are essential for millions to engage actively in their communities, access education, secure meaningful employment, and engage more meaningfully in life’s activities. With the 21st Century Assistive Technology Act in December 2022, more resources have become available to support State and Territory AT Programs.

Innovative Speech Therapy: My Contribution

My practice, Innovative Speech Therapy, focuses on empowering individuals through assistive technologies. We collaborate with families and professionals to identify the most effective technological tools and strategies to address challenges related to communication, cognition, literacy, executive functioning and more.

Empowerment Through Everyday Technology

Assistive technology isn’t just about specialized devices; everyday technology adapted to meet specific needs can also serve as a powerful aid. However, a major challenge remains: many are unaware of these solutions or how to access them effectively.

A Call to Action

Lack of awareness is a significant barrier. National Assistive Technology Awareness Day aims to change that by educating the public about available technologies and their potential. I encourage you to explore the resources available through your local AT Act Program—they offer invaluable support and services.

Join Us in Making a Difference

Discover more by checking the links I’ve included and engage with your local AT Act Program. Together, we can enhance the lives of those around us through technology.

Let’s raise awareness and celebrate the positive impact of assistive technology! #ATAwarenessDay