January 2017
The Center on Disabilities and Human Development Monthly Newsletter
Legislative Reception
   SESTA and the Idaho Assistive Technology projects were invited to attend the State Department of Education Legislative Reception on January 12th. Nicholas Stallings, Boise's AT Lending Library Coordinator, participated with Special Education Director Dr. Charlie Silva.

Stallings shared information on projects and demonstrated AT devices for legislators.  There will be another reception at the Idaho Capitol Building on January 23rd, open for the public to attend. 

Pictured above, Nicholas Stallings and Dr. Charlie Silva.
CDHD Project Spotlight
Idaho Assistive Technology Project
By Ryan Locke
  The Idaho Assistive Technology Project (IATP) was established in 1992, as a program aimed towards providing Idahoans with access to technology, which is capable of giving users the opportunity to expand their potential. The program is federally funded and serves Idahoans with disabilities, older persons, and their families within the statute mandates of the Assistive Technology Act of 2004. The program is directed by Dr. Janice Carson in Moscow.

The IATP runs a resource website, where users can look through a database of equipment they may need. Once they find a product they can borrow it, free of charge from a regional lending library. This allows people to try out different types of equipment and see if it works for them before they purchase their own. The Idaho Assistive Technology Project has established four AT lending libraries over the past quarter of a century. The resource centers are located in Coeur d’Alene, Moscow, Idaho Falls and Boise and are open to all Idaho residents.

Depending on the needs of the consumer, the IATP has assistive technology of varying complexity and expense. These can range from a pencil grip costing roughly $0.30, all the way to an augmentative alternative communication device (AAC), costing up to $15,000.

For a student who is struggling to read, they could borrow a reading pen. This electronic device scans over text and then reads it out to the user. Someone who is blind or has low vision and wants to access the internet could borrow equipment such as a refreshable braille displays. This device displays braille characters that will read the text output of a website page.

In addition to its work supplying assistive technology, the IATP also holds an annual Tools for Life conference, now in its thirteenth year. The conference allows high school students with disabilities to learn about self-advocacy and to see what supports are available for them after they leave high school. In order to serve as many students as possible, the Tools for Life conference is held in a different city every year. This year, the conference will be held in Pocatello on March 6-7, 2017.

CDHD Book Club
 Mackenzie McDermott (left), CDHD Book Club leader since the Fall of 2015, submitted a proposal over the summer to the National Home Library Association requesting funding for the Interdisciplinary Book Club and was awarded $450! She chose this particular proposal because " their objective was aimed toward culture, rather than toward literacy of young children." McDermott began book club because she wanted to " bring in people who haven’t encountered disabilities and making a cultural and sociolinguist change at the University of Idaho." Although, her main goal was to grow the book club.

AT Corner
iBill Reader
By Jessilyn Matthias
   Hello and welcome back! For this issue, I’m discussing the iBill Reader. This device (pictured right) identifies and verbally tells the user what denomination of U.S. currency ($2, $1, $5, $10, $20, or $100) he or she has.

   The iBill Reader is specifically designed for people who have visual impairments and provides independence and convenience for the user. Compact, and easy to use, the iBill Reader is made of durable plastic and responds to the user in approximately one second. This particular model retails for $119.
For more information and details on the iBill reader visit: orbitresearch.com/ibill_details.php 
Learn how you can “check out” and try the iBill Reader for free!

Visit  idaho.at4all.com 
Community Advisory Committee (CAC) Message from Co-Chairs
CAC members during August planning meeting
Strategic Planning
By Shiloh Blackburn

Greetings from the Community Advisory Committee!

   It’s a brand-new year, a clean slate with exciting new possibilities and opportunities. We are so excited to see what 2017 brings. Over the last few months, CAC has been busy. We’ve welcomed two new members to the committee; Margaret Klawiter, an educator, and Jane Janzer, a self-advocate, both from the Boise area. We’re happy to have them aboard and welcome their talents and experience as we move forward in helping the CDHD fulfill its mission and purpose. Also, encouraged by Commissioner Aaron Bishop of the AIDD to become more multiculturally diverse, the committee is wanting to invite and reach out to communities that represent Idaho's diversity. 

   Back in August, CAC had its strategic planning meeting, facilitated by Marsha Bracke. It was a lot of information in two days, a lot of work, and a lot of fun. We reviewed where we have been, where we are presently, and where we want to go in the next five years. Members shared ideas and thoughts on how we can implement multicultural diversity and discussed potential ideas for the upcoming plan. We will be reviewing our strategic meeting and updating goals at our winter meeting in February. We look forward to sharing CDHD's new five-year plan later this spring! 

February 8, 15, 22, 2017:  3-Part Webinar Series -  Creating Assistive Technology Solutions in Minutes

February 21, 2017:  Disability Awareness Day - Idaho State Capitol

March 6-7, 2017:  Tools for Life - Transition Conference, Pocatello, ID
1187 Alturas Drive
Moscow, ID 83843

The  CDHD Insider is a newsletter for CDHD staff, partners, and community. It is a tool used by the Center to keep everyone informed on the day to day work that is being performed and things to look forward to in the near future.

February 2017

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