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Assistive Technology News Launches News Web Site




Assistive Technology News                       Contact:           John Williams

Independence Through Technology                                 703-418-2813

4224 Sideburn Road, Fairfax, VA 22030                                Cindy Hughes

JMMAW@AOL.COM                                                                           602-327-7487



For Immediate Release




Fairfax, VA – March 5, 2007 -- Assistive Technology News has launched www.atechnews.com to assist the nation’s 56-million people with disabilities stay abreast of assistive technology products that enhance their independence and improve their quality of life. This dynamic web site includes everything people with disabilities and their loved ones need to know, from new product announcements, to advocate profiles, to product evaluations, to interviews with leaders in the public and private sectors working on disability issues, to policies that impact people with disabilities.  There will be columns on Aging and Technology and Medicine Behind the Scenes, articles about users of assistive technology products, columns on AT products and profiles of AT leaders.

This service by ATN is launching responds to the tens of thousands of e-mails, faxes and calls it has received over the last decade.   “ATechNews.com will be the site to visit to learn about assistive technology products and disability issues,” says John M. Williams, the founder of ATechNews.com. Williams, who coined the phrase “Assistive Technology,” has been writing about disability issues since 1978 and about Assistive technology products since 1980.                  

An asset to the site will be a column by Dr. Richard Pellegrino on Medicine & Technology.

“I am pleased to be associated with ATN’s efforts to report on policy issues related to Medicine & Technology,” says Dr. Pellegrino.  The doctor believes consumers need to know what drives rising medical costs and how technologies and government policies can bring these costs down. http://www.yourmovieproject.com/news.shtml

Assistive Technology News Launches

An assistive technology device encompasses any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.  The areas related to the disabilities covered are vision, hearing, mobility, speech, intellectual, and physical.  “We plan to look at the impact of assistive technology products in every phase of the users’ lives,” says Williams.

            Disability affects every family in the country. It impacts them personally, financially, physically and/or psychologically.  Assistive technology products lighten the struggle of families dealing with a family member with disabilities, and they eliminate historical barriers that prevented people with disabilities from living independent and productive lives.

           New products today allow people who are blind to have access to information, deaf individuals to use telephones, and speech challenged individuals to speak.  Information barriers are crumbling for people with intellectual challenges, advances in wheelchairs and robotics have improved mobility opportunities for amputees, paraplegics and quadriplegics, and afford individuals unable to use a standard keyboard a variety of alternative methods, such as eye gaze technology, speech recognition, foot pedals and redesigned keyboards.

            “In the U.S., government policies drive many of the successes that people with disabilities enjoy today,” says Williams. He plans to examine many of these policies, particularly section 508 of the 1998 Rehabilitation Act and its impact on driving the information technology industry to develop accessible hardware and software.           

            AT products are spreading worldwide, and manufacturers exist on every continent. There are about a thousand AT manufacturers compared to 100 about 20 years ago. 

            John Williams is an award-winning writer who has been involved in the disability arena since 1978. Assistive Technology News is an editorial/consulting company dealing with disability issues. Williams has had more than 1,200 articles published on assistive technology products and disability issues. He is the author of Assistive Technologies: Expanding a Universe of Opportunities for People with Disabilities (www.atn-ctcf.org).  His articles of his can be found on www.atechnews.com, www.nod.org, www.at508.com, www.businessweek.com and www.unitedspinal.org.



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