CEA Foundation Awards Grant to Assistive Tech App

August 7, 2014
The CEA Foundation, a charitable organization affiliated with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), will provide a grant to BridgingApps, a project of the Easter Seals of Houston, to support their work in identifying accessibility apps. The funding will expand BridgingApps’ website content, create filters, allow them to develop self-directed online instruction, and provide in-person trainings for seniors and other adults with disabilities focused on the use of mobile devices and apps to improve their physical, mental, and cognitive health outcomes.

“Apps can have an incredible impact on the accessibility of devices. We are pleased to support BridgingApps as they help identify and promote apps that provide incredible benefit to consumers regardless of accessibility need,” said John Shalam, chairman of the CEA Foundation.

BridgingApps, now in its third year, has expanded its audience and focus beyond young children and now includes adults and seniors. Apps used by a student with autism for time management and executive function may also work for a person with dementia. BridgingApps believes the use of technology, the ability to identify appropriate apps, combined with information and training will be a powerful tool to improve the lives of seniors.

With the requested grant from the CEA Foundation, BridgingApps can help span the gap between technology and users. Access to information, mobile technology, assistive technology, applications, and the training needed will enable adults and seniors with disabilities to communicate, connect with the world, and ultimately improve their levels of independence.
Relatively low-cost, touch-based, commercially available tools can augment, or in some cases, replace traditional therapies, expensive equipment and/or treatment protocols to result in better physical, cognitive and social outcomes for the person with a disability. The touch-based interface is intuitive, so even people with significant brain injuries can use the device.

BridgingApps is working in collaboration with Memorial Hermann Health System's University Place Retirement Community to investigate how mobile devices and apps can improve physical, emotional and cognitive health for seniors. Whether focusing on apps for accessible social media, brain training games, or ways to stay engaged and in touch with loved ones, the goal is to identify apps and best practices for using them that can enhance the lives of seniors and adults with disabilities. 

“From the early days of BridgingApps we have seen people of all ages and abilities leveraging the power of mobile devices and apps to address specific needs to improve their lives. We are excited to continue to grow our program with the support of the CEA Foundation to reach an even wider audience,” said Cristen Reat, co-founder of BridgingApps.

BridgingApps’ goal is to provide services, information and support to help people with disabilities reach their highest level of physical, cognitive and social development so that they can live as fully participating members of society.

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