Comcast Foundation Bringing New Technologies to Easter Seals Affiliates
Partnership Will Expanded Services in Boston, Chicago, Hartford, Houston, Indianapolis, Miami and Philadelphia
CHICAGO, May 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Easter Seals today announced a new partnership with the Comcast Foundation that will expand assistive technology services at Easter Seals affiliates from Boston to Houston. The $250,000 Comcast Assistive Technology Grant Fund at Easter Seals will build on successful programs for people with disabilities and special needs by providing assessment, training and support designed to address their long-term technology needs.
The Comcast Foundation's interest in strengthening communities, fostering diversity and opportunity, and creating a lasting impact aligns with the mission of Easter Seals to offer help and hope to people with disabilities and to the families who love them. The partnership created a competitive grant process that was open to select Easter Seals affiliates, seven of which were chosen to receive support from the Comcast fund.
"As the country's largest provider of Internet services and a leader in efforts to close the digital divide, Comcast is dedicated to strengthening the path toward equality and full access for people with disabilities," said Charisse R. Lillie, President of the Comcast Foundation. "We are happy to support Easter Seals on this new initiative."
The Easter Seals affiliates selected to receive the funds and their plans for the grants are:
- Easter Seals Capital Region, Hartford, CT, will establish a Mobility Development Lab. The lab will use high tech assistive technology to fulfill the dreams of individuals who have mobility- or paralysis- related disability. The technology will seek to restore or strengthen the ability to walk independently using functional electrical stimulation.
- Easter Seals Crossroads Rehabilitation, Indianapolis will design a Pilot Online Learning Community for Assistive Technology (POLLCAT,) which will enable teaching and peer-to-peer interaction for users of assistive technology, regardless of their physical location.
- Easter Seals DuPage and the Fox Valley Region in suburban Chicago will integrate a new program called Techno Kids – Ready for School. The program is in collaboration with eSpark, Inc. and uses online tools and technology to determine a child's cognitive strengths and weaknesses. It sets individual goals for the child and prepares the child to gain the necessary skills to enter kindergarten.
- Easter Seals Greater Houston will enhance their BridgingApps program. The program is a bridge for parents, teachers, therapists and caregivers, connecting a child with a disability to available technology. The funding will help improve the program website, expand content to include apps targeted to older children with a particular emphasis on autism, and expand the parent/community group.
- Easter Seals Massachusetts, Boston area will use funds to support the research and preparation needed to provide the most up-to-date information about devices and applications that aid individuals and families living with disabilities. They will host workshops and purchase additional tablet devices that will be available to individuals and families who want to try assistive technology before purchasing it.
- Easter Seals South Florida, Miami will give additional support to their Culinary Arts Vocational Training Jobs Program. They will purchase touch screen net books for the program in order to move technology into the kitchen and enhance students' culinary skills.
- Easter Seals Southeastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia will offer assistive technology support for vocational training and socialization to the Job Corps summer program. Computers with adaptive technology will expand skills and technologies that students can use in their educational settings or vocational programs, and be integrated into the students' personal lives.
"We thank the Comcast Foundation for investing in assistive technology solutions for consumers with disabilities living in their communities," says James E. Williams, Jr., president and chief executive officer, Easter Seals. "This new grant fund makes it possible for Easter Seals to build on our long history of providing expertise and technology support for children and adults with disabilities who want to be more actively involved in school, in the workplace and with their families."
About Easter Seals
Easter Seals is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and other special needs. For more than 90 years, we have been offering help, hope, and answers to children and adults living with disabilities, and to the families who love them. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play in their communities. For more information visit www.easterseals.com
About the Comcast Foundation
The Comcast Foundation was founded by Comcast Corporation in June 1999 to provide charitable support to qualified non-profit organizations. The Foundation primarily invests in programs intended to have a positive, sustainable impact on their communities. The Foundation has three community investment priorities – promoting community service, expanding digital literacy and building tomorrow's leaders. Since its inception the Comcast Foundation has donated more than $90 million to organizations in the communities nationwide that Comcast serves. More information about the Foundation and its programs is available at www.comcast.com/neighborhood. More information about the Foundation and its programs is available at www.comcast.com/community.
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