Tuesday, September 30, 2008

October is Disabilities Awareness Month

One in five Americans lives with at least one disability, and most Americans will experience a disability at some time during the course of their lives. In fact, statistics reveal that as we age, the chance for acquiring a disability increases significantly. While some disabilities are easy to see, others, like a developmental disability or a chronic condition, might not be. There are so many disabilities many are hard to catalog, and the same disability can affect each person differently.
If you have a disability or know someone who does, perhaps this month you can treat yourself, or them, with a bit more tenderness. Find out what might feel special to them and see if you can make that happen. If you do not have a disability or have not yet known anyone with a disability, this might be the month you take a moment and do a bit of research. The Centers for Disease Control has a number of special articles this month highlighting various disabilities, helping us all understand more about them. (Visit cdc.gov/Features/DisabilityAwareness for more details.)

Here in Colorado, Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. has proclaimed October 12 - 18, 2008 as Assistive Technology Awareness Week. Capabilities is participating in these awareness activities during the month of October in a number of ways. Check Events for specifics over the coming days.
You might be wondering what Assistive Technology (AT) means. Assistive Technology refers to the tools and resources used by folks to help improve their quality of life, such as a hearing aid, a talking alarm clock, a knee brace, manual and power wheelchairs or, it can be more sophisticated, such as a voice-activated computer systems or stair climbing wheelchairs. AT tools assist someone with dressing or cooking, and help people stay in contact with friends and family through electronic adaptation devices such as computers, or special telephones. AT helps people on the job, at home and in the community. AT tools and services are necessities, not luxury items, that empower people to control their lives and their futures.

Capabilities carries one of the largest selection of AT devices in the Denver metro area. We work closely with the state-run Assistive Technologies Project and with Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapists, doctors and other health care professionals across the region to provide individuals with the tools they need to lead independent lives.

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