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Blog Disability Live Chat

I AM: Assistive Tech 3/22/2021

Assistive Technology (AT)– What’s It All About?

Have you heard about Assistive Technology (AT) but aren’t really sure what it is?  Join us on next week’s I AM weekly broadcast to learn what AT is and how it can help you gain or improve your independence.  We will also discuss Loan Libraries and Community Lending Libraries that are available at some Centers for Independent Living and MD TAP.

Here’s the closed captioning transcript

To download the presentation, see below. If it is not accessible, please contact Heather at hcomstock@imagemd.org.

Some Resources mentioned in the video:

Maryland Accessible Telecommunications program: mat.program1@maryland.gov is the email for the MAT program. You can also contact me tarita@mdrelay.org

Maryland Assistive Technology Program (MDTAP) Reuse program: MDTAP.AT-Reuse@maryland.gov

MDTAP Offices and website: http://mdod.maryland.gov/mdtap/pages/mdtap-home.aspx

Central Office
Maryland Technology Assistance Program
Workforce & Technology Center
2301 Argonne Drive
Room T-17
Baltimore, MD 21218
410-554-9230 (voice)
1-800-832-4827 (toll-free)
1-866-881-7488 (TTY)

Eastern Shore Office
Bay Area Center for Independent Living (BACIL)
909 Progress Circle
Salisbury, MD 21804
443-260-0822 (voice)
1-877-511-0744 (toll-free)

Southern Maryland Office
Southern Maryland Center for Independent Living, Inc. (SMCIL)
38588 Brett Way, Suite 1
Mechanicsville, MD 20659
301-884-4498
info@smcil.org
Western Maryland Office

Resources for Independence, Inc.
735 East Oldtown Road
Cumberland, Maryland 21502
Phone:301-784-1774
Toll Free: 1-800-371-1986

You can contact Disability Rights Maryland (DRM) in need of legal assistance related to denial of Assistive Technology devices. Our intake phone line is: 410-727-6352
Toll Free: 1-800-233-7201
TTY: 410-235-5387

I Can Connect, is the program approved by the FCC to assist
Deaf Blind individuals. Learn more at National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program | Federal Communications Commission (fcc.gov)

To register for upcoming events or to donate to support I AM, please visit:http://weblink.donorperfect.com/Independenceamplifiedmaryland

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Blog Disability Personal Experience

Spotlight IMAGE: Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology, also known as AT, encompasses a wide variety of items and techniques from low-tech such as a cane to high-tech software that can read computer screens. The idea behind Assistive Technology is to increase an individual with a disability’s independence.

The IMAGE Center is home to a variety of AT programs that we would like to spotlight for you.

“My child loves photography, music, art, and dance. She is a whiz at doing puzzles, word finds, and CandyCrush. Due to it having cellular ability, she'll be able to listen to music, watch movies, and use her behavioral apps to calm herself down in any setting. Most of all this iPad Pro will allow her to live the life she deserves, and to her fullest potential.”  – J’s Mom.
A quote from J’s mom via email about the impact of the AT purchase program for her daughter.

An AT Success Story:

J is a young woman with autism who participated in the AT purchase program to purchase an Ipad Pro that has helped her communicate, practice her social skills, and decreased her anxiety. Here’s what J’s mother told us in an email!

“Thanks to a grant from The Image Center of Maryland, whom helped my child with disabilities get a grant for an IPad Pro with cellular capabilities. Covid 19 made this process became a little more challenging than expected. But, we made it through! This Ipad Pro will help to:

  • greatly enhance her social skills, which will help her to gain confidence while trying to interact and communicate with others.
  • at speech therapy, the device is used for receptive, expressive and pragmatic speech. while working on volume, intonation, and enunciation (articulation) of words.
  • help her to express feelings and recognize emotions in others.
  • help to decrease her behaviors and anxiety through better communication. Text to speech, speech to text, behavioral apps., even YouTube, and whatever else she may need to use.
  • gain knowledge and understanding of health procedures using visuals.
  • help her to follow directions more clearly.
  • used for zoom meetings for various activities.
  • duo allows her to interact with friends that have different mobile devices.
  • research with help for volunteer opportunities.
  • it is also being used to assist with technology research to be used for her very loud voice.

My child loves photography, music, art, and dance. She is a whiz at doing puzzles, word finds, and CandyCrush. This Ipad Pro allows her to bring out her best abilities for her disability, and achieve many goals. Due to it having cellular ability, she’ll be able to listen to music, watch movies, and use her behavioral apps to calm herself down in any setting. So, one can see that it is definitely considered an emergency if it is left home. Most of all this Ipad Pro will allow her to live the life she deserves, and to her fullest potential. Thank you Image Center for making the many challenges in her life a little easier for her to adjust to.”

Assistive Technology Purchase program

The IMAGE Center may be able provide home modifications, vehicle modifications and/or assistive technology services to eligible individuals with significant disabilities when needed to achieve the goal of living independently in the community.

These can include non-work related technology items, home modifications and even vehicle modifications. There is a maximum limit of $5,000 per request. Consumers are responsible for 30% of the project costs.

To learn more about the AT Purchase plan, check out our website.

Maryland Accessible Telecommunications

The IMAGE Center was pleased to partner with the Maryland Department of Disabilities on the Maryland Accessible Telecommunications (MAT) program to help individuals with hearing difficulties access telecommunications equipment designed to overcome issues with traditional phones. Our staff member works with individuals to identify equipment that best suits the consumer and provides training and follow-up on the equipment.

Shelf and table with a variety of telephones displayed
Various accessible phones on display at the IMAGE Office as part of our Maryland Accessible Telecomummunications program.

For more information about our MAT Evaluations, please visit our page or contact ilat@imagemd.org.

Ramp Loan Program

In a partnership with the Maryland Technology Assistance Program (MD TAP), the IMAGE Center has a selection of temporary ramps that may be borrowed, free of charge, for up to six months. These ramps can fill in while a permanent home modification is being explored or in the event of a temporary need.

Assistive Technology Library

The IMAGE Center is home to a display of various assistive technology including a modified kitchen. Visitors can see various items available and test them out, including a motorized cabinet to help identify optimal heights for cabinets.

Looking in the cupboard
Two IMAGE staff demonstrate the adjustable height cabinet.

Community Lending Library

Partnering with MDTAP, IMAGE is set to be one of the sites of a Community Lending Library of Assistive Technology. Individuals will be able to borrow AT items to evaluate how well they work for the person before making a financial investment for an item of their own!

Who to Contact about AT?

For more information about our AT Programs, please contact:

atservices@imagemd.org or call 443-275-9395

Donate Now

Please consider a donation to support our Assistive Technology programs. You can visit our webpage to make an online donation or set up a recurring gift! A gift will help us continue to make these services available within our community.

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Ask Mike Blog Covid-19 Disability

Investing in Impact: The IMAGE Center provides solutions in a Pandemic Year

2020 was a year of unexpected challenges and opportunities. On March 13, we closed to our office due to the lockdown but were immediately serving consumers remotely without a gap in service on Monday, March 16, 2020! While many other organizations were still figuring out how work remotely and deliver services, IMAGE staff used their skills and ingenuity to find solutions to the challenges of serving clients during the lockdown!

  • We launched a weekly live Zoom broadcast to increase connection among the community, provide an opportunity to find out what needs our neighbors are experiencing, and to serve as a reliable source of information during the Pandemic. Over the summer, we partnered with the other Centers for Independent Living around the state of Maryland to expand the conversation state-wide.
  • Nursing homes and other congregate living settings were identified early-on as high-risk for the spread of Covid-19. Working with our state partners, we were able to provide feedback to change federal regulations regarding the ability of individuals to leave nursing homes without losing their place in line for waiver services.
  • Our first success story involved getting a gentleman out of a nursing facility and back to his home while he waited. Our Ramp Loan program helped create access to his home.
  • We’ve been a voice advocating for people with disabilities regarding transportation, services, food distribution, and access to vaccines. You can see some of our efforts in the Baltimore Sun and on WYPR.
  • Our VME program did a one of a kind remote rollator repair for a woman via Zoom in April!
  • Our school engineering teams expanded adding MIT to the fold.
  • We started a partnership with Milbat, a nonprofit in Israel serving people with disabilities.

All of this was accomplished on top of our core services! With a small but mighty staff and limited funding we served over 25,000 people with disabilities last year. We are not stopping here. We have bigger plans for 2021 including doubling our supports services for Veterans, adding supports planning to our existing portfolio of services, building a community lending library of assistive technology devices, and continuing the weekly Zoom events. You can partner with us by investing in our programming so we can continue to serve and advocate for people with disabilities.

You can invest in IMAGE in a several ways:

  • If you don’t have a urgent need for your stimulus money, please help build our Covid-19 Lifeline Impact Fund.
  • A recurring gift is a fantastic way for you to routinely support our expanded portfolio of services. Every gift makes a difference!
  • Talk to your employer about Matching Gifts! Many area companies match employee volunteer hours and donations which is a great way to double your investment.

We’ve compiled a Performance Report of our activities for 2020. The infographic shows the impact of IMAGE during the Pandemic year. Invest in IMAGE for 2021 so we can do even more! We’ve provided the report as visual images, a PDF file, and a text transcription.

IMAGE Center 2020 Performance Report Infographic page 1. Full text version available below.
IMAGE Center 2020 Performance Report Infographic page 2. Full text version available below.

We appreciate your continued support of the IMAGE Center through this difficult year. We look forward to a better 2021 where we can be together in person and do even more!

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Blog Covid-19 Live Chat

Getting your shot at the shot! I AM March 15, 2021

Getting your shot at the shot!

Let’s chat about the current state of getting vaccinated in Maryland! Some of the issues facing people with disabilities were discussed in this article from WYPR! What has been your experience?

This week’s I AM will be our latest update. We’ll talk about strategies for getting an appointment.  Don’t miss this informative and provocative look at where we are.

To Register for future events or donate to support visit: https://bit.ly/2XFUvuk

Comments and links from the Chat during the Zoom session:

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Blog Disability Live Chat

Support Groups: I AM March 8, 2021

The theme for the Independence Amplified Maryland session on Monday March, 8, 2021 was focused around introducing several support groups available in Maryland.

Recording of the Independence Amplified Maryland event from March 8, 2021.

Women Embracing Abilities Now (W.E.A.N.)Meetings on the 3rd Sunday 4pm. Contact Janice Jackson at 410-433-0614 ablejan@aol.com www.wean1.org. You can find them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/weanqueens

Socky Bellamy: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (L.E.G.S.): For more information, please email: theextragents@gmail.com You can find the public group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/189997477713243

Maryland Trans Unity http://www.transunity.net/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MarylandTransUnity or for information on the Support Group, please contact the group at facilitators@transunity.net

Lighting Your Path: Navigating Your World and Enhancing Your Everyday Life  2nd Wednesday 1-3pm via Zoom. Please contact Rochelle Harrod at rharrod@innow.org for information or visit the Independence Now calendar: https://www.innow.org/event/lighting-your-path-03-2021/

Crystal Brockington: Live and Thrive on the Third Friday of Each Month. Contact Crystal at 443-219-7407 cbrockington@imagemd.org or Shannon at 240-638-0070.

Flyer for Live and Thrive Maryland. Information is also available as a downloadable PDF.

For more information about upcoming Independence Amplified Maryland broadcasts, visit our website where you can register or donate to support this program!

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