Seattle, WA - July 10 - Easterseals Washington today announced it has received a $20,000 grant from the Comcast Foundation to build a new Technology Achievement Center for people with disabilities in its Adult Day Center in Bellevue – Eastside Adult Services. This recently acquired adult day health and recreation center serves young adults with autism, seniors with dementia and other disabilities related to aging, and adults of any age with mobility or sensory issues. With heightened expectations of Adult Day Centers to develop educational and vocational goals that help each individual achieve greater independence, the new Technology Achievement Center promises to impact the lives of 90 to 100 people with disabilities at its Bellevue center – after which the program will be replicated in other adult day programs throughout the state, specifically in Des Moines and Bremerton, to more than double the number of people with disabilities impacted.
Easterseals Washington was one of six local Easterseals across the country selected for the grant by the Comcast Foundation through the Comcast NBCUniversal Assistive Technology Grant Fund. Established in 2011, the fund supports technology programs and services that benefit children and adults, including veterans living with developmental disabilities. Assistive technologies can vary from braille-equipped handheld computer systems and voice command telephones to height adjusted tables and augmentative communication systems – all helping individuals with disabilities to overcome barriers in the home, on the job, at school or on the go.
“We thank Comcast NBCUniversal for its continued investment in assistive technology solutions,” said Cathy Bisaillon, Easterseals Washington President & CEO. “This grant fund makes it possible for Easterseals Washington to build on our long history of providing expertise and technology support for children and adults with disabilities who want to be more actively involved in school, in the workplace and with their families.”
“Comcast appreciates the opportunity to continue our relationship with Easterseals Washington through this new center in Bellevue. We know from experience with this wonderful organization that Easterseals Washington does and will make a huge difference in improving the lives of vulnerable young adults and seniors, among others,” said Amy Lynch, Regional Senior Vice President of Comcast in Washington.
The chosen affiliates excel in programs that help with assessment, training and ongoing support for individuals with a disability. Services are designed to meet an individual’s assistive technology needs throughout his or her lifetime. At the national level, Easterseals’ has allocated $80,000 in grant funds to develop a Public Service Announcement and support Make the First Five Count, a free online developmental screening tool for parents and caregivers of children aged newborn to 5 years old designed to help ensure they are meeting developmental milestones.
Since 2011, The Comcast NBCUniversal Assistive Technology Grant Fund has empowered nearly 50,000 Americans living with disabilities by providing expanded assistive technology training and services. The grants have helped people like Ian, an early learner in one of our Child Development Centers. Ian had frequent outbursts in the classroom, disrupting his ability to learn, as well as, his classmates’ ability to learn. After a few short months of participating in our Mobile Technology Lab Program, he stopped having frequent outbursts, and was able to connect with his teachers and his peers in a way that he never had before. Ian was able to keep up with the academic curriculum and he even made some friends in his classroom. To date, Comcast NBCUniversal has provided more than $25 million in cash and in-kind support to help with Easterseals’ assistive technology efforts.
Easterseals Washington has been helping individuals with disabilities and their families, live better lives for 70 years. Whether helping someone simply gain greater independence for everyday living or secure employment, Easterseals Washington offers a variety of services to help people with disabilities address life's challenges and achieve personal goals. Our purpose is to change the way the world defines and views disabilities by making profound, positive differences in people's lives every day.
Easterseals Washington serves more than 4,100 adults and children with disabilities and their families annually through eleven offices and program sites. Find more information about how we are challenging America to recognize the new face of disability by redefining disability for the 21st century at http://www.easterseals.com/washington/.
The Comcast Foundation was founded by Comcast Corporation in June 1999 to provide charitable support to qualified non-profit organizations. The Foundation primarily invests in programs intended to have a positive, sustainable impact on their communities. The Foundation has three community investment priorities—promoting service, expanding digital literacy, and building tomorrow’s leaders. Since its inception, the Comcast Foundation has donated more than $200 million to organizations in the communities nationwide that Comcast serves. More information about the Foundation and its programs is available at www.comcast.com/community.