Posted October 26, 2010
One highlight of Idaho State University's annual Disabilities Awareness Week Oct. 25-29 was the dedication of the new Dorothy and Neal Broyles Assistive Technology Laboratory on Monday.
"Idaho State University is one of the only universities in the state to have something like this," said Dennis Toney, director of the ISU ADA and Disability Resource Center. "The new laboratory will allow students with disabilities to learn about the technologies that are available, to level the field for them with other students. It is also a resource for educators and students to learn about the assistive technologies now available."
The Broyles Assistive Technology Laboratory is located in the College of Education’s Albion Hall, in Room 2 of the Instructional Materials Center.
"We're delighted about this new resource on campus because it is something that can benefit a lot of students over the long term," said Todd DeVries, ISU assistive technologies coordinator. "The new laboratory will fulfill three major functions: assessments, training and community outreach."
If, for example, a student has trouble reading, that student will undergo a standardized assessment and then will be introduced to the types of assistive technologies available, such as a computer program that can read out loud, or software that can greatly increase the size of text on a computer screen.
The student can then be trained on the most appropriate technology, considering how much the student can afford. After being given training and using the new equipment for a given period, the student will then be re-assessed to see if the new program and technology is working.
"We'd also like the community to know what is available here, because there is now a lot of assistive technology available that many health professionals or educators should be aware of," DeVries added.
Both DeVries and Toney expressed their appreciation to the Broyles Family for creating the endowment that funds the laboratory, and the ISU College of Education, which is providing the space for the laboratory.
"Without the donation from the Broyles family we could not have created this laboratory," DeVries said. "Not many have Dorothy’s vision, and we are grateful to her family for their generosity, and for the generosity of the College of Education for providing space and resources for the laboratory."
"The College of Education is very excited and honored to host the laboratory in order to provide support for students in their successful pursuit of education," said Deborah Hedeen, dean of the College of Education.
The laboratory will be open two hours a day on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. A schedule will be published on the ADA and Disability Resource Center’s website www.isu.edu/ada4isu/. In the meantime, call (208) 282-5167 or (208) 282-3599 for hours of operation and other information on the assistive laboratory.