assistive technology

Community Learning AT Coordinator

VISTA Name: 
Donna Licata
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

The VISTA Member will have a significant role in developing, organizing, and implementing a Community Learning Center Network in which we will deliver educational programming in disability issues, accommodation, and Assistive Technology (AT) to our underserved citizens via our synchronous distance learning network. The member’s activities will include:

1. Help establish formal AT technical and educational programming with at least 10 Community and Faith based organizations.

2. Oversee the connection of new & pre-existing Community Computer Labs to our Community Learning Network to facilitate delivery of AT & Accommodation web-based seminars

3. To Help create a stronger and effective dialog with our local and state government officials, and work with them to improve the status of persons with disabilities

4. To create the foundation of a Community Technology Learning Center Collaborative of community and faith based organizations that will provide AT support services for the constituents they serve.

5. To work with our AT specialists to convert our educational & promotional materials into alternative formats and needed languages to accommodate the individuals we support and train through our school and community service programs.

6. Help install new assistive technology hardware and software needed to better accommodate the people we serve and to help make the technologies available to others who want to learn about its use.

7. To help establish our agency as a model of accommodations and support of Persons With Disabilities and other underserved persons, by which other organizations and communities can emulate.

Project Outcome: 

Donna Worked with Ticket-to-work clients to determine their best path to employment. She continued to built relationships with other CBOs/FBOs who were interested in employment of persons with disabilities Continued to grow our AT lab and encouraged community usage of the lab.

She also created a very eficient management model for the Ticket-to-Work Program while continuing to help educate youth and adults in the usage of Assistive technology.

Volunteer Coordinator and Program Producer

Malden Access TV
VISTA Name: 
Ilirjan Qirici
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

Ilirjan (Liri) Qirici has completed his second year with MATV as part of the CTC VISTA Project. Whereas a good part of the first year involved finding ways to adapt the work environment to meet Liri’s physical needs so that he could develop to his full potential as a staff member, the second year was marked by Liri’s complete immersion in his daily worklife at MATV. Liri has made tremendous progress in his professional and personal goals and has contributed in great measure to the expansion of MATV’s volunteer and community programming capacity. It is not an understatement to say that Liri’s presence alone has attracted and inspired a great many volunteers to participate at MATV.

Project goals for both years are as follows:

Goal 1: Tutorial Production Instructor for MATV members/interns

Goal 2: Executive Producer of Community Show Malden Square

Goal 3: Producer/Director of Community Show “What Is…? “

Project Outcome: 

Presently, Liri is in the midst of developing two critical projects that could have an impact on underserved populations in greater Boston and beyond. The Massachusetts State Association for the Deaf has been meeting regularly with Liri and other MATV staff to develop and train its members to begin production of a new TV program – Deaf Community News – a show to be produced by and for the deaf and hard of hearing community. Secondly, Liri is coordinating the staff and clients from Triangle, Inc. (a non-profit organization providing employment, residential and social services to people with disabilities) in the production of a monthly magazine TV show to be produced entirely by developmentally and physically disabled adults.

This past year, Liri has produced and directed a monthly program entitled What Is…? that focuses on medical illnesses, disabilities, and disease prevention. He has developed a crew of ten volunteers that handle all aspects of the production process. The program involves and promotes many local non-profit health-related organizations and medical institutions. This program won first prize in the “Talk Show” category at the Alliance for Community Media Northeast Region Video Festival in the fall of 2002. Liri will continue to produce this quality program in the coming year.

Liri’s work at the Cyber Café @ Malden Square has been as an ambassador of communications technology – teaching, nurturing, and challenging volunteers and patrons from all backgrounds to learn and utilize technology to improve their lives.

Liri is working with MATV to acquire additional assistive technology, in particular, voice-activated digital editing software that will increase his independence and productivity at MATV.

Note: Liri produced a segment of the Commonwealth Broadband Collaborative’s “First Tuesday” program that was cablecast throughout eastern Massachusetts and webcast on May 4, 2004 that covers his own VISTA work and can be seen by going to the project’s video archives at .

Impact Quote: 

Liri has made tremendous progress in his professional and personal goals and has contributed in great measure to the expansion of MATV’s volunteer and community programming capacity. It is not an understatement to say that Liri’s presence alone has attracted and inspired a great many volunteers to participate at MATV.

West Tennessee Special Technology Access Resource Center

Jackson, TN

The STAR Center is a model demonstration, resource and training center dedicated to ensuring that all individuals with disabilities or other special needs maximize their potential for independence and achieve their personal goals of employment, effective learning and independent living through assistive technology, assistive aids and support services.

*AccessU West*

January 11, 2011 - January 12, 2011
San Jose, CA

The digital divide includes the tech design divide that keeps people who are using assistive technology or who have disabilities from being able to use web sites, software and other tech tools.

If you agree, you should check out *AccessU West* - a web accessibility institute (previously CalWAC) *January 10-12, 2011* in San Jose, California. It’s being organized by, that’s focused on helping people with disabilities get access to technology and tech-related education, as well as making education accessible through technology.

Assistive Technology Manual, DISKovery Center


The Assistive Technology Manual describes not only tools and products to aid people with disabilities, but also has etiquette and advice for respect in communications with a variety of impairments. This manual was developed by Anita Lie at the DISKovery Center in Los Angeles, CA.

Transmission Project