Assistive technology is a wonderful thing – it helps the elderly and

people with disabilities live full and active lives.

Western University of Health Sciences will host a free forum on assistive

technology from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 5. Sponsored by the

Western University Compatriots and the university’s Center for Disability

Issues and the Health Professions (CDIHP), the forum will feature

presentations from five Southland organizations on simple and high-tech

assistive technologies. The representatives will bring display samples of

their products and/or services for attendees to operate and try.

The forum, titled “”Opening Doors: Technologies to Assist Elderly and

Disabled Persons,”” is free and open to the public. It will be held in

Cooper Hall in the Alumni Affairs Center on the Western University campus

at 309 E. Second Street, downtown Pomona. Attendees are invited to a

reception after the forum. Door prizes will be awarded.

Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation in Pomona will make a presentation

on “”Environmental Aids.”” Project Threshold from Rancho Los Amigos Hospital

in Downey will speak on “”Adaptive Devices in the Home.”” Santa Monica’s

Center for the Partially Sighted will speak on “”Low-Vision Aids.”” The

Assistive Technology Exchange Center (ATEC) and Deaf Services Program of

Goodwill Industries of Orange County will make a presentation

on “”Assistive Listening Devices.”” The Computer Access Center of Los

Angeles will speak on “”Assistive Technology with Computers.””

“”Everyone eventually will have a disability or know someone with a

disability,”” said Brenda Premo, MBA, founding director of CDIHP. “”As we

age, we can use technology to maintain our independance and energy. This

forum will help those who have a disability, those who provide support for

family members and for professionals looking for ways to allow persons

with disabilities to remain independent.””

Audience members will learn how to modify a kitchen for use by a person

who uses a wheelchair, will see computer software that can read any print

on the screen for persons who are blind or learning disabled and will

learn of software that can turn on lamps, open doors or turn on appliances

with a verbal command.

Space is limited and reservations are required for the free forum. Call

(909) 469-5507 for more information or to RSVP.

The Center for Disability Issues and the Health Professions was created by

Western University in 1998 in response to the disabled community, which is

emerging as one of the nation’s fastest growing and least understood

minority groups. The CDIHP’s goals include, but are not limited to:

improving the capabilities of health care providers to meet the growing

needs of people with disabilities; increasing the numbers of qualified

individuals with disabilities who pursue careers in the health

professions; and empowering people with disabilities to become more vocal

and active participants in their health care.

For more information on the CDIHP, call (909) 469-5380.

The Western University Compatriots – one of the first volunteer groups

organized at Western University — is made up of business and professional

people who serve throughout the community as ambassadors for the

university.