CRC staffers ready to help individuals and staff use assistive technology

Nine Charles River staffers have completed training on the use and implementation of assistive technology (AT) and are now certified as Enabling Technology Navigators.  They are Charles River’s “Assistive Tech Champions” and will assess assigned individuals for the use of AT to help them become as independent as possible. They’ll also help other staff members learn about AT.

Assistive technology is an item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities.

CRC’s new “Assistive Tech Champions” include Althea Hobson, Co-Assistant Program Director, Day Habilitation; Nick Houghton, Program Director, Family Support; Cara Kinney, Behavior Specialist; Marie Lewis, Manager, Quality Assurance; Marina Lisovskis, Program Director, Natick Day Program; Katie McDonald, BCBA, Director of Behavioral Services; Samantha McGilvray, Pre-ETS Coordinator, Day and Employment Services; and Brian Wagner, Assistant Program Director, Coolidge Circle.

The AT initiative is led by Randi Sargent, Grants Manager and AT Project Team Lead, who is working with these staff to develop expertise and an implementation plan across all CRC services. Support for this initiative came from the Department of Developmental Services, which awarded Charles River a $50,000 grant to fund the training, project management, and various resources that will soon become available. CRC recently received a continuation of this grant for 2024.

In 2021, DDS launched its “Technology First” initiative to promote the use of technology to support inclusivity and independence for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as ASD.