I'm a data geek. Give me an excuse to study something for hours, I will. That's not why I joined CHADD (Children and Adults with ADD). I joined CHADD to meet people. Shortsighted me! CHADD, with a mission of improving the lives of people affected by ADD, is many many facets more valuable than that. I belong to a Washington State chapter. I've attended two meetings. And both qualified for continuing education credit for maintaining my Board certification. I've copied articles out of the newsletters for clients and friends. I've met people who offer profoundly impactful resources for the differently-able and neurodiverse.
One of the speakers, Maria Kelley, OTR/L, ATP, is a Senior Assistive Technology Specialist with the Washington Assistive Technology Act Program (WATAP). This is the WATAP mission, from its homepage:
"The mission of Washington Assistive Technology Act Program (WATAP) is to provide a comprehensive continuum of services and resources to help Washingtonians with disabilities of all ages to make informed decisions about assistive technology (AT), and to provide alternative means of acquiring the AT they need. WATAP serves not only individuals with disabilities, but also their circle of support including family members, employers, employment service providers, educators, health care providers, social service providers, and others seeking AT expertise in all areas of life, but especially in education, employment, and community living."
HOW MAGNIFICENT IS THAT??? And there are versions in EVERY STATE! I once blogged about adaptive technology, but until I attended Ms. Kelley's presentation, I had no idea how creative and diverse the tools are. I knew about time-keeping devices, speech recognition apps for dictation. But wearable technologies to reduce anxiety? Pens that read books out loud? This is magic. And the wizards at WATAP deserve applause.