USC hosts annual assistive technology expo

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Vendors were able to showcase new technology created to assist individuals with disabilities.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The University of South Carolina’s Assistive Technology Expo was Tuesday where vendors were able to showcase new technology created to assist individuals with disabilities.
“Technology changes everyday and assistive technology isn’t immune to that,” said Rachelle Johnson, the program manager for the SC Assistive Technology Program.
“This helps the community by showing them what’s available,” she said. “You might see something or you didn’t know that you needed or something that might help a family member or friend.”
Smart glasses, wheelchairs, and lifestyle resource programs were some of the many things attendees were able to learn about.
One of those who attended was Shawn Keen, who is visually impaired.
“So much of disability is learning what other disabilities are like in a sense,” said Keen.
Keen said through the expo he was able to learn more about his own community. “It’s really empowering to find out how other disabilities maneuver life,” he said.
According to event officials, this is the largest event in the state with a focus on disabilities and to celebrate its 31st year they are added something new.
“We get gently used equipment donated, we clean it up and give it out for free and we thought we’d bring attention to that because a lot of people don’t know about this service,” Johnson said. “We have a free for all booth where we have some of the equipment today and people can walk away with it and take it home today.”
The event comes to the Columbia SC Metropolitan Convention Center every March with returning and new vendors every year.

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