SOURCE: ATIA (Assistive Technology Industry Association)

ATIA (Assistive Technology Industry Association)

October 20, 2009 09:00 ET

ATIA Video Contest Winner Shows How Life-Changing Assistive Technology Is

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - October 20, 2009) - The ATIA (Assistive Technology Industry Association) is pleased to announce the winners of its Video YouTube Contest. The goal of the contest was to raise awareness about the power of assistive technology and how life-changing and enhancing it can be for individuals and their families. The grand prize is an all-expenses paid trip to the ATIA 2009 Chicago Conference (October 28-31, 2009) held at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center.

Assistive Technology (AT) is defined as any item, piece of equipment, product or system -- whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized -- that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities.

The grand prize winning video, My Assistive Technology (AT) Success Story, features Pete, a homebound man with multiple disabilities who uses a variety of assistive technology products. In his video, Pete explains the numerous ways in which he uses an Environmental Control Unit to control nearly every aspect of his living environment. He demonstrates how he uses voice recognition software to meet his visual disability needs. And he shows how his ability to use a computer was revolutionized by combining Dragon with another voice recognition product and a head mouse emulator.

Pete says, "In many ways assistive technology has given me a new lease on life. It has freed me from my physical limitations and given me a sense of independence that I never dreamed possible. It has improved my life immeasurably and I know that it could do so for many others."

"Pete and our other contest entrants are amazing examples of the life-changing affect assistive technology can have, and we congratulate them all," says David Dikter, Executive Director of ATIA. "Since our inception 10 years ago, the overarching goal of ATIA has been to educate and create awareness about assistive technology and the enhanced benefits and opportunities it brings to people with disabilities."

Because Pete is homebound and unable to use the prize of an all-expenses paid trip to the ATIA conference in Chicago, he requested that ATIA donate part of the prize to the Darryl Stingley Independent Living Program in Canton, MA, and donated his complimentary conference registration to Easter Seals Massachusetts in recognition of their services to him.

The 29 submitted videos demonstrated a broad scope of assistive technologies and featured individuals ranging in age from toddlers to adults. The videos tell the story of how individuals with a disability use assistive technology to communicate, learn, work, play and live independently.

The contest grand prize winner was selected based on the number of recorded views for an individual video, and other relevant criteria; more than 20,000 views were recorded. In addition, ATIA awarded a number of other prizes to contest entrants. To view all of the winning videos go to www.atia.org/youtubecontestresults .

About ATIA

Since 1999, ATIA has held an annual conference that provides a forum for education and communication to professional practitioners serving those with disabilities. In conjunction with its conferences, ATIA holds a Leadership Forum and Workshop on Accessibility which provides corporations, government agencies, and higher educational institutions with the information needed to expand their accessibility efforts. In addition to its Chicago conference, October 28-31, 2009, ATIA will hold its annual Orlando conference, January 27-30, 2010.

The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) is a not-for-profit membership organization of manufacturers, sellers and providers of technology-based assistive devices and/or services. ATIA represents the interests of its members to business, government, education, and the many agencies that serve people with disabilities. Its mission is to serve as the collective voice of the Assistive Technology industry so that the best products and services are delivered to people with disabilities. For more information about ATIA's educational opportunities and conferences, visit www.atia.org.

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