NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – As part of the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services’ Technology Forward initiative, ServiceNet, a Northampton-based nonprofit providing mental health and human services, has been awarded a contract worth up to $200,000 a year to enhance assistive technology support.
With the funding, ServiceNet will assess and implement assistive technology solutions tailored to the needs and environments of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Strive Clinic at ServiceNet, which currently offers physical, occupational, and speech and language therapy to people with ID/DD and brain injuries, will work with people and their caregivers to figure out what technology they need based on their environment.
Communication devices with pictorial symbols, touchscreens, and voice recognition software are all part of assistive technology. With these devices, non-verbal people or people with limited speech abilities can express themselves and build stronger connections with their peers.
Assistive technologies can also support daily living through smart home systems, wearable devices, and task-specific aids. These technologies can facilitate improved time management, organization, and independent living skills, enabling individuals to gain greater autonomy, build self-confidence, and actively participate in their communities. Each recipient of assistive technology will get weekly training sessions with ServiceNet’s Strive Clinic staff, plus regular re-assessments and check-ins to make sure they’re using it properly.
“The Department of Developmental Disabilities contract is a great opportunity for ServiceNet to expand our accessible technology support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout western Massachusetts,” said Abbas Hamdan, senior vice president of ServiceNet’s Developmental and Brain Injury Servies division. “We are dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of people we serve, and this grant will play an exciting part in achieving that goal.”
This opportunity isn’t just for ServiceNet’s Developmental and Brain Injury Services (DBIS) programs. It’s free for anyone who wants to improve their quality of life with assistive technology.