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

Pace University to Host Colorful LEGO League Tournament

Twenty four teams of children, ages 9-14, from local schools, Girl Scout troops, and neighborhoods, will demonstrate competing ways of building and programming a robot using LEGO sets that address the specific needs of people who face physical challenges in today’s society.

Contacts:
Bill Caldwell, Office of Public Information, Pace University, 212-346-1597, wcaldwell@pace.edu
or Bernice Houle, School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Pace University, 914-773-3592, bhoule@pace.edu

MEDIA ADVISORY

January 26, 2005

PACE UNIVERSITY TO HOST 24 TEAMS FROM LOCAL SCHOOLS
IN COLORFUL LEGO LEAGUE TOURNAMENT

This year’s challenge – robotic ways to help people with handicaps

Four all-girl teams to compete

WHAT: Twenty four teams of children, ages 9-14, from local schools, Girl Scout troops, and neighborhoods, will demonstrate competing ways of building and programming a robot using LEGO sets that address the specific needs of people who face physical challenges in today’s society.

The FIRST Organization, founded by inventor Dean Kamen, creator of the Segway Human Transporter, has teamed up with the LEGO Company to create FIRST LEGO League. Pace University’s School of Computer Science and Information Systems (CSIS) will host Westchester County’s FIRST LEGO League Tournament, an annual event that over the last seven years has encouraged children to use their imagination, work with LEGO sets, and learn about science and technology in a fun and exciting way. Each year, the tournament has a different internationally announced challenge. This year’s is “No Limits.”

For people who have difficulty moving, walking, reading a distant sign or climbing stairs, the 2005 FLL challenge is to examine these seemingly simple tasks in a new light and explore how technology and human thought can work together to create equal access for all people. Teams will present robotics technology solutions they have researched to help individuals in their community perform the everyday actions that most people take for granted. In addition to the tournament missions, the teams will be judged on robot design and programming, a 10-minute research presentation, and demonstrated teamwork.

WHO: 21 teams from NY state and one team each from CT, NJ, and PA.

Four all-girl teams will compete, including a team formed by the Girl Scout Council of Westchester/Putnam; a team from Sleepy Hollow; a middle school in the Bronx; and a team from Wilkes-Barre, PA. Several teams from upstate New York will travel considerable distances to compete, including the LS Robot Rulers from Buffalo, who raised $5,000 from local sponsors in order to finance the trip.

The tournament is run entirely by volunteers, including Pace students, staff and faculty as well as members of the Westchester community. Pace CSIS students will serve as referees. Judges are from major corporations in the area, including IBM, T.J. Watson Research Center; and ITEC Consulting.

WHEN: Sunday, February 6, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Opening ceremonies at 12:15 p.m.

WHERE: Pace University, Pleasantville Campus, Goldstein Fitness Center

For more information or to volunteer, contact Bernice J. Houle, (914) 773-3592, bhoule@pace.edu .

Web sites:
FIRST Organization http://www.usfirst.org/jrobtcs/flego.htm
CSIS at Pace http://csis.pace.edu