Signal Centers, located in Chattanooga, helps individuals with disabilities and other challenges reach lifelong independence. The mission of this non-profit organization is to strengthen children, adults and families through services focusing on disabilities, early childhood education and self-sufficiency.
Signal Centers is comprised of six programs – Adult Services, Assistive Technology (AT) Services, Baby University, Children’s Services, Child Care Resource & Referral Network and Employment Services.
At this year’s Faire, Signal Centers will be exhibiting some of the Assistive Technology equipment and services that they provide everyday. If you are unsure of what exactly Assistive Technology is, it is any device that makes individuals with disabilities or challenges more independent. AT Services at Signal Centers can provide individuals of all ages and with any disability the technology to enhance their self-sufficiency.
Some of the Assistive Technology available at Signal Centers includes:
To show the services they provide, Signal Centers will be demonstrating devices that help some of the main areas of disability – vision, hearing, dexterity, cognitive impairments, speech, etc. These devices will be able to be touched and handled.
Attendees will also be able to “try-on” different disabilities at “Disability Simulation Stations”. For example, there will be glasses that, when worn, simulate different ocular disabilities, including cataracts, glaucoma, and legal blindness.
Signal Centers will also have a game of Tetris that can simulate neuromuscular disorders such as Cerebral Palsy. The game, created by Signal Centers AT Design Specialist Ezra Reynolds, begins as a simple game of Tetris, but once the player gets comfortable with their skills and using the controls, a button is pressed that turns the game into “C.P. Mode”.
Once in this mode, the game decides random ways to not cooperate, whether that is a control working in the opposite way the player wants, or just not working at all.
“These uncontrollable motions become similar to the uncontrollable movements associated with Cerebral Palsy,” Reynolds said. “However, unlike a person playing this game, an individual suffering with Cerebral Palsy can’t just walk away when they get frustrated.”
The game is meant to show how challenging it can be to not be able to control motions, or motions not working as planned, much like how an individual with Cerebral Palsy lives.
While they will not be selling devices at the Faire, assessments of need and recommendation regarding Assistive Technology is available for individuals of all ages and all disabilities at Signal Centers.
To learn more about Signal Centers and the services they provide or schedule an assessment, visit their website.
Mark Your Calendar! The Chattanooga Mini Maker Faire will be at the First Tennessee Pavilion on September 9th. Attendance is FREE.