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CEA Foundation Awards Grant to BridgingApps

The CEA Foundation, a charitable organization affiliated with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, announced its support of BridgingApps, a project of the Easter Seals of Houston with a grant to support their work in identifying accessibility apps. The funding will expand BridgingApps’ website content, create filters, allow them to develop self-directed online instruction and provide in-person trainings for seniors and other adults with disabilities focused on the use of mobile devices and apps to improve their physical, mental and cognitive health outcomes.

“Apps can have an incredible impact on the accessibility of devices. We are pleased to support BridgingApps as they help identify and promote apps that provide incredible benefit to consumers regardless of accessibility need,” said John Shalam, chairman of the CEA Foundation.

BridgingApps, now in its third year, has expanded its audience and focus beyond young children and now includes adults and seniors. Apps used by a student with autism for time management and executive function may also work for a person with dementia. BridgingApps believes the use of technology, the ability to identify appropriate apps, combined with information and training will be a powerful tool to improve the lives of seniors.

With the requested grant from the CEA Foundation, BridgingApps can help span the gap between technology and users. Access to information, mobile technology, assistive technology, applications and the training needed will enable adults and seniors with disabilities to communicate, connect with the world, and ultimately improve their levels of independence. Relatively low-cost, touch-based, commercially available tools can augment, or in some cases, replace traditional therapies, expensive equipment and/or treatment protocols to result in better physical, cognitive and social outcomes for the person with a disability. The touch-based interface is intuitive, so even people with significant brain injuries can use the device.

BridgingApps is thrilled to be working in collaboration with Memorial Hermann Health System's University Place Retirement Community to investigate how mobile devices and apps can improve physical, emotional and cognitive health for seniors. Whether focusing on apps for accessible social media, brain training games, or ways to stay engaged and in touch with loved ones, the goal is to identify apps and best practices for using them that can enhance the lives of seniors and adults with disabilities.

“From the early days of BridgingApps we have seen people of all ages and abilities leveraging the power of mobile devices and apps to address specific needs to improve their lives. We are excited to continue to grow our program with the support of the CEA Foundation to reach an even wider audience,” said Cristen Reat, co-founder of BridgingApps.

BridgingApps’ goal is to provide services, information and support to help people with disabilities reach their highest level of physical, cognitive and social development so that they can live as fully participating members of society.

About CEA Foundation

The CEA Foundation is a public, national foundation affiliated with the Consumer Electronics Association. It was established with the mission to link seniors and people with disabilities with technologies to enhance their lives. The Foundation is focused on strategic support of programs to impact these communities and has launched its first series of grants in 2012. It also serves to facilitate dialog between industry, consumers, government, advocacy groups and other key stakeholders around important issues. For more information on the CEA Foundation please visit CEAFoundation.org.

About Easter Seals Greater Houston

Easter Seals Greater Houston Inc. is a non-profit corporation established to provide comprehensive services to individuals of all ages with all types of disabilities and their families. As the only local organization providing a broad range of comprehensive services to individuals and families affected by disabilities, Easter Seals of Greater Houston operates: Early Childhood Intervention; Respite Services; Toy/Tech & Play Groups including BridgingApps™; High School/High Tech; Home of Your Own; Therapy Services; The Caroline School, A Day Program; Camps and Case Management; Social Motion Skills; Transition Services; Adult Services, and coming soon, Veteran’s Services. For more information about Easter Seals Greater Houston, visit www.eastersealshouston.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@eastersealshou).

About BridgingApps

BridgingApps, a program of Easter Seals Houston, provides the access, education, and resources needed to effectively use mobile, touch-based devices to help people with disabilities communicate, exceed educational goals, and reach their fullest potential. BridgingApps includes a website, app reviews by therapists and special education teachers, a custom app search engine, assistive technology labs, monthly in person meetings in Houston, Fort Worth, Rio Grande Valley and Austin, training and certification options for parents, organizations and schools. For more information, visit www.bridgingapps.org.

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