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The News Chair

Access to Sports for One and All

WindsurfingThrough our work with the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads, I recently had the privilege to interview the program director of an organization called AccesSportAmerica.

Founded in 1995, AccesSport is a unique organization promoting the physical and athletic potential of children and adults with disabilities through high-challenge sports and training.

Tiffany Whisner

Tiffany Whisner

It really was eye-opening to learn about all the ways this organization is making sports accessible — more than 2,000 children and adults join the programs offered each year, taking part in everything from adaptive windsurfing and canoeing to soccer, cycling and tennis.

Here are some statistics:

  • Only 12% of adults with a disability meet the minimum physical activity recommendations of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five or more days/week or 20 minutes of rigorous activity at least three days/week.
  • Physical inactivity among people with disabilities has been linked to an increase in the severity of disability and decreased involvement in the community.
  • Presently, there are approximately one billion persons with disabilities in the world, or 15% of the global population.
  • People with disabilities are less likely to engage in regular moderate physical activity than people without disabilities yet they have similar needs to promote their health and prevent unnecessary diseases.

Read the full article written for INDATA here!

And consider supporting this organization, which makes all the difference to their programs and staff.

Cycling“My favorite part of working for AccesSport is the lifelong friendships I make with the athletes,” said Program Director Nate Berry. “It’s extremely rewarding to see them gain function, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. There is no greater feeling than seeing the confidence our athletes gain when they realize they are able to do something, either for the first time or that they haven’t accomplished in years. This feeling is contagious and is constantly spread throughout the AccesSport community, and I get just as much, if not more, out of being a part of it all as they do.”

 

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Assistive Technology Gets an Upgrade

March is Disability Awareness Month — increasing awareness and promoting independence, integration and inclusion of all people with disabilities.

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According to the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities, adults and children with disabilities represent slightly more than 19 percent of Indiana’s population. This is the 25th year for Disability Awareness Month, and Hoosiers who want to make a difference can get involved in activities and events throughout the month.

 

I have the privilege of working with the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads as one of our clients. And they just recently opened a new technology lab for people with disabilities. From home automation devices and wearable gadgets to robotics, the INDATA Project is making assistive technology accessible and user-friendly for everyone, particularly to those people with disabilities.

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“The big challenge is getting people to realize every device someone without a disability can use for convenience can also be used by someone with a disability to enhance that person’s quality of life and independence,” said Brian Norton, the manager of clinical assistive technology at Easter Seals Crossroads. “Assistive technology can have a profound impact on how a person with a disability interacts with people and their environment, excels in school, and performs in the workplace.”

 

INDATA1It was amazing to watch the robots and high-tech devices capture the attention of people who came to the open house as well as the media, who highlighted the new lab on air and through social media. And this technology is available to all — the INDATA Project offers loan-interest loans, funding options and an equipment lending library to Hoosiers with disabilities.

 

“We want people to understand assistive technology doesn’t have to be super expensive,” said INDATA Director Wade Wingler. “This technology lab is a great way to show off the best AT in the most approachable and user-friendly way possible.”

 

For more information about INDATA, visit www.eastersealstech.com.

 

 

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INDATA Project Shares Disability Awareness Message

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The INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads is a Coles client and provides information and access to assistive technology, at no charge, for Hoosiers with disabilities.

 

Assistive technology is any item, piece of equipment or product system that is used to increase, maintain or improve the capabilities of people with disabilities.

 

With March as Disability Awareness Month, INDATA continues to share its message with individuals with disabilities and their families throughout the state of Indiana.

 

INDATA’s core services include:

  • Information and referrals
  • Funding assistance
  • Public awareness and education
  • Device demonstration
  • Device loans
  • Device reutilization

 

“Ensuring individuals with disabilities and their families are aware of the full array of resources available to increase their independence is critically important,” said INDATA Director Wade Wingler. “The INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads is committed to participating in disability awareness activities throughout the month of March. We want to share our message of how assistive technology tools can make an enormous difference in the lives of people with disabilities of all ages.”

 

INDATA also provides low-interest, extended rate financial loans to qualified individuals through the Alternative Financing Program (AFP).

 

The loans are used to purchase assistive technology devices such as:

  • Wheelchairs
  • Motorized scooters
  • Hearing aids
  • Augmentative communication devices
  • Braille equipment
  • Computers
  • Motor vehicle/home modifications

 

How can you learn more about INDATA? Visit www.eastersealstech.com. Each Monday, INDATA produces a new assistive technology video on its YouTube Channel.

 

INDATA produces two weekly podcasts — Assistive Technology Update and Accessibility Minute. Check them out!

 

They also operate a 24/7 resource for assistive technology information on Assistive Technology Radio. Listen now!

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