The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) is proud to promote the use of Technology First for people with disabilities.
Assistive technology helps people build independence and personal control in their lives. Assistive Technology can be anything from a screen reader or an Amazon Alexa to apps that help people navigate public transportation such as AbleLink.
One way the DODD Community Life Engagement team is promoting technology is by expanding peer mentorship through the Ohio Tech Ambassadors program. This year, five technology ambassadors have been chosen to share how adaptive technology has enhanced their lives and promoted independence. The ambassadors are doing this through mentoring sessions, social media, and speaking at various events.
The program began in July of 2020 and will continue into the 2021 Fiscal Year with an initial investment of $39,000. The Ohio Tech Ambassadors program aims to meet DODD’s strategic plan objective to increase employment and community life engagement opportunities and the continuum of supports available for people.
Tanner Huff of Ironton, Ohio, and Nathan Turner of Holland, Ohio, are two of this year’s technology ambassadors. They live out the motto of the tech ambassadors, “Embracing Technology. Promoting Independence.” Both have benefited from being tech ambassadors and have seen others across the state encouraged to embrace new technology.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity to strengthen our future and to make people with disabilities more independent,” shared Nathan. “As tech ambassadors, we need to continue our work, but maybe the next phase of what we do is going to be ... doing more virtual work, but also getting together in small groups of people and demonstrating specific technologies.”
To learn more about the Ohio Tech Ambassadors program or find an upcoming webinar, visit ohiotechambassadors.org. DODD is excited about the work of the tech ambassadors and the role they play in improving the quality of life for Ohioans with developmental disabilities and their families.