Leo’s Letter: Introducing The Arc’s Tech Center

The Arc is pleased to announce the launch of its tech center at thearcofmass.org/tech. The site’s development was funded by the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS).

We hope it can serve as a launching point for advancing the independence of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their use of personal technology. We do not have all the answers on this site, but we will work to maintain carefully curated technology tools and resources for our community, which change or grow over time.

The Tech Center has several resource categories that are curated: work, home, communication, learning, training, health, and planning ahead. A search tool may also be used to find the same resources. Videos both curated and produced by The Arc supplement the information on apps, devices and websites. The Tech Center is intended to serve as a “Technology Circle of Support” to share knowledge and inform people on available technology. We encourage you to visit our site today!

Technology can make a world of difference for people with disabilities by building bridges to community participation. For the past several years, The Arc of Massachusetts along with many individuals with disabilities, family members, staff and other allies have championed the cause and need for a coordinated, statewide technology-focused initiative in Massachusetts.

DDS Commissioner Jane F. Ryder launched the DDS Technology Forward Initiative, which has resulted in several outcomes:

  • Providing grants for 11 different projects to advance technology for its constituents
  • Expanding home and community-based federal waivers – services to allow for assistive technology and remote services (request is being reviewed by the federal government)
  • Governor Baker’s funding of a new technology line item at $500,000

In October 2019, The Innovation & Technology Task Force was initiated, which is a partnership with The Arc, DDS and ADDP. The Task Force was formed to create a roadmap for supportive technology in Massachusetts. In mid-July, the Task Force plans to release its Technology Forward Report, which makes technology recommendations to Commissioner Ryder for the DDS service system.

4 Comments:

  1. Congratulations to you Leo and Mass Arc for taking a lead on the use of technology for persons with intellectual disabilities and autism…Such a worthwhile initiative.

  2. Linda Weaver Brown

    Boy, can we use this!

  3. So vital!!!
    Thank you to the Arc!
    Linda Cox

    • Thank you to Sal and LInda for your feedback — we’ll all work together to advance technology, communication, and independence.

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