Introducing Elano Dallmeyer, new AT Specialist for the AT Regional Center (ATRC) of Western Massachusetts!
Elano was hired this past summer by UCP of Western Massachusetts which operates the MassMATCH ATRC.
He couldn’t be happier.
“This is a dream job. I get to apply what I love to working with people for a better quality of life. It’s incredible.”
Last week, MassMATCH had a chance to catch up with Elano and learn what brings him to UCP and what excites him about his new position. His enthusiasm was contagious.
“When I heard about the job, I thought, ‘Oh, here’s my job. That’s what I’m supposed to do!'”
Elano explained he has a background in IT but as a technologist, he’d discovered the work wasn’t enough. “I tried the corporate thing, but it wasn’t for me,” he reflects.
He’s a people person.
Before joining UCP, Elano had been working at a residential school for girls who’d experienced trauma. There he’d developed and coordinated activities and provided direct care, including for students with developmental disabilities. Eventually, he’d moved into a teaching assistant position and enjoyed instructing computer classes. “I’ve developed a lot of patience,” he says.
Now, at UCP, Elano is exploring and demonstrating equipment and traveling to homes to set up smart home technology and other solutions for improved independence.
He says he’s delighted by the collision of mainstream technology with assistive technology–the “unintended consequences” of tech developed for everyone that’s proving to be life-transforming for some.
“Installing a Ring Doorbell means people with disabilities have security they’ve not had before,” he emphasizes. “They can let in their PCAs [personal care attendants] and not just leave the door unlocked all the time.”
It’s clear, talking to Elano, that here is a gregarious nerd, as well as someone who brings a light approach to their work.
In a blink, he’s talking about gaming.
“I’m a career gamer,” he confesses and then explains how this is foundational to his perspective on technology and the work at hand. “Gaming teaches problem-solving and motor skills. So much tech innovation is coming from gaming. VR [Virtual Reality], especially. It’s transforming how we tell stories.”
Already he’s bringing this mindset to the ATRC. UCP recently acquired an Oculus Rift S VR headset to explore opportunities for UCP clients. Elano is excited about VR’s potential. “Sensory therapy, social-emotional learning, life skills. Virtual travel! This is on the forefront technology and we’re tracking it here at UCP.”
Is it all about the high tech for Elano? We wondered, and asked…
“Oh no. Some of my favorite devices? Adaptive grip turners! They make such a difference and are so satisfying for users.”
Welcome to your dream job, Elano. We’re delighted to have you.