Pace Students Help Adults with Intellectual Disabilities Present Their “Interests, Desires, Dreams”

“Dreams and desires” of adults with intellectual disabilities to be unwrapped Thursday morning, Dec. 17, helped by computers and collegians. IPhones, PowerPoint, and individual attention from Pace University computing students provide gifts for AHRC-NYC service recipients.

MEDIA ADVISORY — December 16, 2009

Contacts: Bill Caldwell, Office of Public Information, Pace University, 212-346-1597, wcaldwell@pace.edu James Lawler, D.P.S., Professor, Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Pace University, 212-346-1013, jlawler@pace.edu Shirley Berenstein, public information, AHRC New York, 212-780-2500, Shirley.Berenstein@ahrcnyc.org

COMPETENCE FOR CHRISTMAS

“Dreams and desires” of adults with intellectual disabilities to be unwrapped Thursday morning, Dec. 17, helped by computers and collegians

IPhones, PowerPoint, and individual attention from Pace University computing students provide gifts for AHRC-NYC service recipients

WHO: Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, presenting their “interests, desires and dreams” using abilities unlocked with the help of iPhones, tablet computers, PowerPoint, and Pace University students

James P. Lawler, Professor of Information Technology at Pace’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems

Members of the Curriculum Team of AHRC’s Department of Adult Day Services

WHEN AND WHERE: Thursday, December 17, 2009, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM. AHRC-New York City, 83 Maiden Lane (off William Street), 13th Floor, NY, NY

WHAT: The adults, most in their 20’s and 30’s, are service recipients of the AHRC-NYC organization. This is the fifth semester Pace students in a course on “Community Empowerment through Information Systems and Technologies” have worked with AHRC-NYC, each student spending a minimum of 50 “community service-learning” hours in one of four centers. A year ago course members began working one-on-one with recipients to explore “assistive” and “augmentative” uses of IT.

The process is enabling people with intellectual disabilities to have their own voice in decisions about their lives that historically were made for them by their parents and caregivers.

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS: Animations by a client who used to consistently draw the same Yu-Gi-Oh-like figures and now is turning them into stories. Observations about lives and families from clients who have found that cameras and PowerPoint let them express abstract concepts and use family photographs and videos. New public speaking skills from people encouraged by IT.

“GIFT OF GIVING”: Pace student reflections (students will be available) “…this class opens a door to a world that maybe people haven’t been exposed to—and they leave a better person.” — Tom Ostrowsisi.

“I was … definitely going to drop the class. [Now] I have taken every lesson learned here and am planning to take it with me on my endeavors through life.” — Muhammad Hussain

“Active participants in the gift of giving opportunity to others … receive the gift of hope, determination, and self-acceptance. I did.” — Karey Hall

WEB SITES: AHRC NYC http://www.ahrcnyc.org, Pace University http://www.pace.edu

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