With all the modern advancements in assistive technology, there are more ways than ever to help people with disabilities live life to the fullest, and Community Opportunities is holding a Tech Fest Oct. 22 at LCCOA to put this technology on display. 

Assistive technology can include remote trackers for younger children with developmental disabilities that are in danger of wandering off, medication dispensers, inclusive housing adapted to accommodate various disabilities and more. 

“We have a bunch of stuff from the Wolfner Library, which does books on tape and Braille books for people who have sight issues,” Josh Venable, Community Opportunities resource specialist, said. “So basically it’s just to get a whole bunch of these kinds of companies together so that people can look into it, see what kind of things are available to try and help make their lives a little better.” 

Community Opportunities services over 300 people with disabilities in the county, and Venable said seniors can also benefit from various types of adaptive technology as well. 

“I would hope that a large group of people would be interested in checking out some of these different things, because everybody needs a little bit of something, whether it’s glasses or powered wheelchairs,” Venable said. 

“If anybody has any kind of need, which everybody has something, this is a good place to come and check out some of the available resources to them,” Venable added. 

The event will start at 2 p.m. on Oct. 22, with different companies coming on-site to provide demonstrations and educate people about the different solutions or services they offer.  This is the first year for this event, but Venable said he traveled to a similar kind of event in St. Louis for the Special School District. 

“So we’re trying to put on something similar here so that it’s not such a big drive for a lot of the people in our community here,” Venable said.

Over the past couple of years, Venable said it’s “pretty striking how much” adaptive technology has changed with low-tech solutions transforming into more functional, high-tech ones. 

“It’s just a booming kind of industry at the moment, we went from having maybe 10 or 15 companies across probably the entire country, and now there’s hundreds,” Venable said.  

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A certified wiz at playing tabletop war games and binge-watching anime, I spend far too much time on the internet. Also I run a couple of newspapers.

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