Breaking Ground 99 - Introduction

by Wanda Willis, Executive Director, TN Council on Developmental Disabilities

Dear readers, we are living in a time of huge technology changes. That’s not news to you. Life looks very different today than it did even 10 years ago, thanks to the smart phones in our pockets and the computer power built into nearly every appliance and device we use.

But what does all this change mean for people with disabilities? Why does technology often come up as such an important topic for the disability community?

This technology-themed issue of Breaking Ground will offer some answers to those questions.

You’ll read stories of Tennesseans with disabilities using technology to help them work and live their daily lives. You’ll read about the huge potential we saw in action at the Enabling Technology model home, funded by the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. You’ll hear about ways provider agencies are using technology to support independence for the people they serve.

These stories show how new technology can give people with disabilities more control over their own lives. As technology becomes more a part of daily life for all of us, it is also shrinking the access gap for people with disabilities.

The world is changing at an increasing pace. In another 10 years, life will again look very different for all of us. As unpredictable as the future may be, I am sure of one thing: People with disabilities will continue to find ways to use new technology to improve access to their homes, work places, and communities. And the Council will continue to share those ideas and stories with you!

Wanda Willis, Executive Director