We are excited to report ADEC will be among the session presenters at the 2015 National Convention of The Arc in Indianapolis Oct. 3-5.

Our own Don Wierenga, Director of Day Services and Assistive Technology, and Rod Tackett, Communications Specialist, will lead an interactive break-out session, “Let them Build it and They Will Come,” detailing the steps they took to create the ADEC Technology Challenge and the unexpected benefits it brought. Participants will learn how to replicate the model in their own communities.

“It’s all about how you can create and use a community technology challenge to raise awareness and resources and gain new ideas for assistive technology,” said Tackett.

“We had a huge response from the community and from local universities and schools (who were) very excited about the challenge,” added Wierenga who plans to repeat the challenge in 2016, expanding it to include even more participants. “It was 10 teams this year, and this next year we anticipate about 30,” he said.

Besides raising awareness, the challenge also generated ideas and plans for products, which may be replicated and manufactured for distribution. ADEC is exploring options for the next step – producing the projects.

John Dickerson, executive director of The Arc of Indiana, described the Tech Challenge as “groundbreaking” and encouraged ADEC to submit a proposal to present at the national convention.

The keynote speaker for the three-day convention will be Timothy Shriver, chairman of the Special Olympics, who will share the story of his remarkable family and their legacy. In 2014, Shriver released a memoir, “Fully Alive: Discovering What Matters Most,” that offers a personal look into his life and the people who inspired and taught him. A book-signing reception will follow his opening address.

The tentative time slot for ADEC’s presentation is 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Sunday Oct. 4.


Article by Nancy Miller | Mission Advancement Manager

Graphic and photo by Rod Tackett | Communications Specialist