2001 Conference Proceedings

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John Cavano, MOT, OTR
One North First Street, Suite 120
San Jose, CA 95113
E-mail: jcavano@transaccess.org

Christina Gaugler, MS, OTR
E-mail: chrisg@transaccess.org

Jane Tong, MS, OTR
E-mail: janetong@transaccess.org

The topics covered in this presentation include background on how the computer access lab at TransAccess was established, the evaluation process from an occupational therapist's view, and case studies of clients who use access technology.

The mission of TransAccess is to establish partnerships with Silicon Valley businesses and the community to prepare persons with disabilities for competitive employment. Through career transition services and adaptive computer access technology, TransAccess creates opportunities for significant advances in universal access, social integration and employment for people with disabilities.

Evaluations are completed by a registered occupational therapist. To quote Mary Ellen Buning, an occupational therapist who wrote an article on Assistive Technology, "Occupational therapists are interested in the variety of ways that people 'occupy' themselves through the day and across the life span. Adapting a computer so that disability is accommodated offers great potential to address all kinds of human occupation."

TransAccess provides computer access evaluations to individuals 15-years of age or older that have all types of physical disabilities such as ALS, Cerebral Palsy and Multiple Sclerosis; sensory impairments such as Low Vision, Blindness and Hard of Hearing; learning disabilities, and work-related injuries such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, De Quervain's and Tendonitis.

The evaluation is an opportunity for the client to identify and experiment with the latest adaptive technology solutions. The occupational therapist and client discuss the client's strengths, goals, and concerns and together they collaborate to determine the best access solutions.

The occupational therapist provides a continuum of assistive technology service delivery by providing training in software such as voice recognition, screen magnification and screen readers. In many cases, computer configuration is also necessary to ensure compatibility.

The occupational therapists at TransAccess will discuss how they collaborate with clients to come up with workable computer access solutions in several different circumstances: at home, at college, and at work. The presenters will discuss their evaluation and training process for computer access solutions. They will also speak on using combinations of various assistive technologies that have enabled persons with disabilities to be more successful in using a computer.

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