Wednesday, August 15, 2018

If You Aren’t First, You’re …

Last month, I learned that state of Ohio became the first state in our nation to establish an official “Technology First” initiative, with a goal that “citizens with developmental disabilities be afforded the opportunity to improve their lives through supportive technology.”

I applaud Ohio for this forward thinking, but I can’t help but wonder … why wasn’t Colorado the first state to do so?

The environment in our state is so perfect for reimagining how we can use technology to deliver services to our fellow citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

Think about it.

Colorado is home to the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities, which works to catalyze and integrate advances in technology that promote the quality of life of people with cognitive disabilities and their families. The Coleman Institute is also the force behind the official declaration of “The Rights of People with Cognitive Disabilities to Technology and Information Access.”

Colorado is also home to Families at the Forefront of Technology, a “community where individuals, families, and providers come together to advance and enable technology for people with special needs.”

And I feel very justified in adding Imagine! and the work we do to the list of reasons why Colorado should have been the logical choice for Colorado to be the first state to adopt a technology first approach to I/DD services. In the past two decades, we’ve:

I could easily list more. And yet, Colorado has so far failed to officially recognize the idea that technology offers some of the best solutions and opportunities for ensuring our friends and neighbors with I/DD can continue to be active, contributing members of their communities.

Now, I don’t believe that if you’re not first, you’re last …



... so I hold out hope that Colorado, and our entire nation, will follow Ohio’s lead.

Who’s with me?

Then again, what do I know?

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