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Independence First welcomed students from MATC’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program 

Each year, students from the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at MATC come to Independence First to experience hands-on training with assistive technologies.  

One of the activities included a taped section of floor to define the average width of a hallway and 90-degree turn. Students attempted to make this turn in different-sized wheelchairs. This exercise allowed students to get a clear, physical understanding of what design barriers to access.  

A student participates in an exercise using a wheelchair

A student participates in an exercise using a wheelchair

Mark leads a class demonstration

Mark leads a class demonstration

Cindi leads a class of students from MATC

Cindi leads a class of students demonstrating Assistive Technologies

A presentation and other hands-on activities allowed for further learning. Lorna Pecard, Independence First’s Community Outreach and Special Event Coordinator, audited the class and shares her takeaways;

  • “There's a misconception that using AT [Assistive Technology] like chair lifts can make a person lazy, like they're ‘giving in’ to their disability, when really AT does the opposite. For example, if someone has a lift chair and can stand independently, they're more likely to get up and move around!” 

  • “AT can allow a person to live more comfortably in their home and can save thousands of dollars in home modification costs.” 

  • “AT, like every accommodation strategy, is intensely person-specific. What works for one person won't work for others! Thinking creatively about solutions to individual problems allows for low-tech, low-cost solutions built to fit individuals.” 

To learn more about Assistive Technologies at Independence First, visit: