The April ElderScholars meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 8, in the Lookout Mountain Room of the University Center. The speaker will be Ezra Reynolds, Signal Centers, Assistive Technology Services, and the subject will be an Overview of Assistive Technology. Assistive Technology is any technology used to overcome the effects of a disability. While it includes such things as eyeglasses, hearing aids, and wheelchairs, it encompasses much more than that.
Assistive Technology Services works with people of all ages and all disabilities, with the goal of matching them with technology to help them be independent: able to go to school, go to college, hold a job, or live independently in the community.
Ezra Reynolds is a graduate of Central High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, with degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. He first developed a passion for assistive technologies while working on a senior project at UTC, funded by Signal Centers. Following graduation, he began working there as their only engineer.
In his commentary entitled “The Father of Invention,” in the Chattanooga Times Free Press on March 16, David Cook described some of Ezra’s inventive solutions to problems faced by the disabled, using materials at hand or parts fabricated from scratch, including by means of the 3-D printer on the fourth floor of the Chattanooga Public Library. Cook quotes Ezra on what he considers his greatest invention, the independence his clients achieve with his help.
Ezra’s presentation will include a show-and-tell of some of the many different types of assistive technologies for the audience to examine. Signal Center’s goal is to make people aware of the types of devices that are available or adaptable for their use, usually off-the-shelf devices. They don’t sell anything. In the event that they cannot find an off-the-shelf device, their design program engineers it from scratch or engineers an inexpensive modification or redesign of an existing product.
There will be an ElderScholars sign on a table in the cafeteria around noon where anyone is invited to join for lunch. Look for the sign for seating together.
The official meeting starts at 1 p.m. Parking is free in any UTC lot. Be sure to place this letter on your dashboard indicating that you are attending the ElderScholar Meeting. If you have any difficulty with ticketing, please take your letter and the ticket to the University “Police Station” which is at the top of the hill at the end of the street directly behind the University Center. They should be able to handle it without difficulty.