Dear fellow Advisory Council members:
I want to thank everyone for making me a member of the Advisory Council. I am looking forward to working with all of you to encourage more people with disabilities to use assistive technology.
I want to create my own website about energy efficient accessible homes and how AT is helping people with disabilities. It is important, in my view, to have eco-friendly accessible homes because the cost of energy seems to be continually increasing. People with disabilities who are low fixed income will benefit living in sustainable housing by lowering fuel cost. Energy efficient devices such as automatic thermostats can also be considered as AT.
In 2004-2005, I was involved in the UMass Dartmouth Solar Decathlon. Fifteen other universities and colleges competed in the international competition. Each school designed and built a solar sustainable home, which was brought to the National Mall in Washington DC. ADAPT worked with the University of Colorado to make their solar home handicapped accessible. Besides winning the competition, the UC team learned about the needs of people with disabilities.
UMass Lowell teamed up with the Massachusetts School of Arts and Design to compete in the 2011. The Solar Decathlon occurs every two years. In December, the Department of Energy, which sponsors the event, selected the schools for the 2013 Decathlon. Unfortunately, no universities/colleges from Massachusetts were selected. If a school from Massachusetts is picked for the 1215 Decathlon, I think MassMatch should be involved in some way.
Both sustainable accessible housing and AT are going to be more essential within the foreseeable future especially when baby boombers get older and the cost of electricity and heating fuel increase. It dawned on me several months ago that sustainable technology is much more mainstream than AT. To make AT known in mainstream like sustainable living, in my opinion, all sectors of society need to be more involved. I realize that schools such as MIT, Northeastern University, BU, and UMass Dartmouth are working on various parts of both of these technologies.
I envision that my website will involved all of these entities as will as MatchMatch and agencies/vendors that are involved with AT. Another goal for the website is to educate people with disabilities about environmental issues.
Please let me know if you have suggestions for the website.