Friday, April 24, 2015

Autistic Student...a great success story!

This month, I have talked to Maryrose about her experience with EmpowerTech. In my opinion, Maryrose is a pleasant student who is always working hard and is very helpful to Ms. Rickell and myself. I was happy to learn that her experience here has been positive. Through EmpowerTech, she’s been able to use computer skills in Microsoft word, excel and power point to do well in her college courses. It is her dream to become a Nurse one day and work with children. She is very passionate about this career and this just demonstrates one of her greatest attributes which is to help people. Furthermore, through EmpowerTech, Maryrose is attaining valuable skills for her future career. She is the President of the Trade Student Assistant Program. Through this position, she is able to help others maintain the lab clean and makes sure all assignments are returned to the lesson plan table. She also talked to me about how she likes to help set up and decorate the break room for special events. Through her story, I have come to learn why Maryrose is happy to be at EmpowerTech. Before she becomes a nurse, she needs to develop the skills that will help her do her job well. Here at EmpowerTech, Maryrose has the liberty to learn valuable skills. She has not only gained computer and leadership skills, she has also developed social skills at Empowertech. She met her best friend Dominique here and has been her friend for about a year now. In addition, she also has participated in the Special Olympics since last year. She has been a part of the Track and field and bowling challenges. Maryrose is an exceptional student with big dreams. There is not a day she is absent. I can account that she is always here with a great attitude and a willingness to learn. Thus, she demonstrates determination and ambition for the future as she expresses, “We are here to assist in any way to make our experience at EmpowerTech a success.”

Monday, April 20, 2015

EmpowerTech CEO JoanElaine Anderson and Board President Go Tech Free for 48 Hours

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                             CONTACT:    Joan Anderson      


The Ultimate Reality Show: 48 Hours… No Phone… No Internet… No Car—IN L.A.!
April  __, 2015—LOS ANGELES:  EmpowerTech Executive Director Joan Anderson and current EmpowerTech Board Chair and former student of the Blind Program Keith Breaux will attempt to navigate a series of trips and tasks throughout Los Angeles over the course of an entire weekend, without using any technology whatsoever.  The weekend challenge, which will raise money for EmpowerTech’s program offerings, will be streamed live online, making it the ultimate reality show.

Joan Anderson stated, “The idea behind the Tech Free Weekend Challenge is to demonstrate to the world how much we take technology for granted, and to give people a small taste of what it is like to live with a disability that prevents you from using everyday technology like driving a car or surfing the web.   When I first shared this idea with our students, I told them that I wanted to walk a mile in their shoes. They responded, “Oh, you’re going to be walking a lot farther than a mile!”

The weekend’s itinerary and series of challenges will be drawn up by EmpowerTech students who, through the use of Assistive Technology at the EmpowerTech facility in Los Angeles, overcome obstacles presented by their disabilities every day.  Examples of activities could include: going parasailing in Marina Del Rey, visiting the Getty, or shopping at Ralph’s.  Joan and Keith will be followed by camera operators who will film their exploits in 8-10 hour shifts.

Keith Breax commented, “I’m certainly not looking forward to a weekend without my IPhone, but if this weekend challenge can raise awareness of the difficulties that persons living with disabilities like myself a blind man, face every day—and raise awareness of EmpowerTech and its programs—then it will be worth it.  But still, no Assistive Technology? All weekend? Seriously?”

Beginning May 22th at 1:00 pm, Keith and Joan will check into a Hotel in Westchester and hand over all of their technology devices, including car keys.  They will then be presented with their weekend itinerary and the cameras will start to roll.

As part of the Tech Free Weekend challenge, donors will make cash pledges to EmpowerTech, contingent upon Joan and Keith successfully completing the challenge.

EmpowerTech uses modern Assistive Technology to help persons with disabilities obtain the skills and the confidence to perform important technology-related tasks that many take for granted, such as accessing and using the Internet and creating and reading documents. From programs for blind/low-vision adults to classes for disabled children, EmpowerTech uses state of the art Assistive Technology to help disabled persons experience the freedom and fulfillment of self-sufficiency.  To learn more about EmpowerTech’s many, many success stories, please visit: