How many of you have struggled with finding assistive technology for your employees, your family, or yourselves?
It is more than just about technology. We have done a lot with accessible technology but we can do more. There are new technologies out there that can help, but we need a cohesive way to bring them together to affect change for people with disabilities.
At Booz Allen, I advocate for Assistive Technology at the Innovation Center and with our Diversity & Inclusion team. At home of a father of a nine year old son with special needs. Every day I think what his life will be like when he graduates from high school. I look around the people in this room and I realize the impact that we could have together and am excited at the possibilities.
I’d really like to stress three key points on how we can make an impact together.
- People: People are critical. People are passionate. However people don’t know what they don’t know. I can advocate for my son, but I can’t be at every school for every child. We need to educate everyone on the technologies, tools, and policies that are out there.
- Process: Connecting online. Connecting with vendors. Connecting parents with each other. Connecting with teachers. The connections are key at bringing awareness and also incubating new ideas. This is tied together with process.
- Tech: Technology is already here, it just needs to be applied. As new technology comes out, we need to evaluate it and be prepared to move on from older systems into the new ones. There is no one answer for anything. This applies to assistive technology as well.
If we think about this as a collective, we can organize to be bigger than the sum of our parts. We need that for our families, friends, and colleagues but also the next generation of our children. I want to continue this discussion with you.
I will be part of the Technology Roundtable “Innovations in Accessible Technology” on Thursday, August 24th at 9am at the USBLN – US Business Leadership Network Conference. I will speak alongside Microsoft, Bloomberg, Deque Systems, and IBM Research. I am the Solutions Evangelist and Lab Manager for the Booz Allen Hamilton Innovation Center in Washington, DC.
Look for us at 9am on Thursday, August 24th on the agenda.