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Mathalia Speaks Up (With Assistive Technology)
Thank you, MonTECH, for sharing a story of empowerment through technology and helping us celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month.
Mathalia is 26 years old and finds it difficult to make eye contact. She speaks in a quiet whisper, is painfully shy, and she has Down Syndrome.
When Methalia was invited to take an active role in the Consumer Advisory Council of the Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities, her mother knew she would need additional support to be heard. So Mom and Methalia took advantage of the device loan program of MonTECH, Montana’s Assistive Technology (AT) Act Program.
MonTECH demonstrates and loans assistive technology devices to anyone with a short-term need or for the purpose of trying out equipment before deciding to make a purchase. All State and Territory AT Act Programs provide free device demonstrations and free short-term device loans (or for a nominal fee). In Montana, residents can browse and request devices online. They can also set up a demonstration of equipment to help them consider what to borrow based on their individual needs and goals. In Montana, short-term device loans are available for periods of up to 6 months and most devices are shipped and returned at no charge to borrowers.
From MonTECH, Mathalia borrowed a Winbridge Voice Amplifier. The Winbridge is a lightweight and portable speaker connected to a headset with a microphone. It can be used for 5 to 8 hours on a single charge and takes 3 to 5 hours to recharge. The microphone is on a flexible gooseneck that may be positioned close to the user’s mouth.
Mathalia found that with the WinBridge she can be heard during Council meetings. She can also communicate with caregivers and co-workers, and she can vocally participate in meetings for her potholder business.
The AT3 Center, the Association of AT Act Programs (ATAP), and the Administration on Community Living (ACL) make no endorsement, representation, or warranty expressed or implied for any product, device, or information set forth in this blog. The AT3 Center, ATAP, and ACL have not examined, reviewed, or tested any product or device hereto referred.
The Assistive Technology Act Technical Assistance and Training Center (AT3 Center) is a project funded under grant award #90ATT0003 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living (ACL). The AT3 Center provides technical assistance and support to AT Act Programs funded under Section 4 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended (P.L. 108-364). The AT3 Center is a sponsored project of the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs (ATAP). The information on this website does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of ACL, and no official endorsement should be inferred.
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