"Tech Fest" in Springfield highlights types of technology for those with disabilities

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Department of Mental Health (DMH) announced Missouri will be a "Technology First" state in February. Tuesday they hosted Tech Fest highlighting types of technology that is available to help those with disabilities.

"So one of the things that we are trying to do is create the resources so that someone who doesn't know what is out there can have something to give them ideas," Wanda Crocker, with DMH, said.

During Tech Fest there were many different types of technologies on display. Crocker says it is important to show people the options.

"We (must) take it out to the field so people can get an idea of how it can help," Crocker said.

Some of the technologies on display were:

-Pressure sensors for beds
-Remote support systems
-One touch can openers
-Pens that record speeches/lectures
-Hands-free devices

Molly Jackson, with CC Links, went booth by booth learning about options for her clients. She believes these devices will help individuals with disabilities become more independent.

"Independence is always a big area for our individuals," Jackson said.

Technology is also helping solve the home health staff shortage. Jackson says they are feeling the effects of the shortage first hand.

"We're looking at more of those outside resources to assist with meeting the needs of our individuals," Jackson said. "Ultimately leading to a more independent life."

The presenters included: Missouri Housing, StarResources, empower:abilities, 2GetherTech, and Hearo Technologies, Electronic Caregiver, Wolfner Library, Night Owl, SmartCare, Rest Assured, Missouri Assistive Technology, On My Own, and Numotion..

For more information about the Technology First initiative, visit: https://at.mo.gov/