Clarkson University’s Occupational Therapy Department will host its Assistive Technology Expo for the eighth time this November. The two day event will be held at Clarkson Hall for the first time, moving from its previous location at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake.
The Assistive Technology Expo will take place on Nov. 2 and 3 in Clarkson Hall. Director of Assistive Technology & Education Lisa Tebo said her aim is to reach occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech pathologists, vocational counselors, service coordinators, and employees of service organizations such as NYSARC and United Helpers. Certificates of continuing education will be provided to participants.
The first day of the expo will feature nearly 20 breakout sessions where participants can learn more about products that can be used to enhance the lives of people with disabilities.
On the second day, attendees will be able will be able to choose from multiple projects where they can fabricate assistive technology solutions. These projects will range from low tech, where participants will build a device using items like cardboard, PVC pipe, and other inexpensive items, to high tech devices using 3D printers and microprocessors.
“People can come and build assistive tech devices,” Tebo said. “This is where the field of assistive technology is going. People are finding that they can create their own assistive tech for a fraction of what it costs to buy it commercially. This is the movement, the maker movement.”
While most of the event is reserved for those who register, a public session will be held on Friday, Nov. 2 from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m. in Snell Hall on Clarkson’s main campus, where the community is invited to browse the booths of vendors and services organizations, view poster presentations by Clarkson OT graduate students and also attend the keynote performance by Flame.
Flame is a group of musicians from Gloversville, NY, who have a range of disabilities. The group has performed for the Special Olympics, on Good Morning America and even at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They will be demonstrating their talents following a brief question and answer session.
Thanks to the John Ben Snow Foundation, financial support is also available to individuals with disabilities, as well as their family members or caregivers, who are interested in learning more about assistive technology. Qualifying individuals may attend the conference at a significantly reduced registration rate and receive reimbursement for expenses associated with attending the conference. Approval for funding is not dependent upon financial need but will be based on an interest in exploring AT for personal use.
“We want to get the consumers of assistive technology to these conferences because they need to be an important piece of the decision-making process in terms of choosing the best technology for them,” Tebo said.
For more information, or to register for the expo, visit www.clarksonassistivetech.com/at-expo.html