UTPA technology lab available for the community
Posted: 10/10/2003
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The Project Enhance Assistive Technology Lab at The University of Texas-Pan American will be providing services for the community every second and fourth Friday of the month from 1-7 p.m.

UTPA student uses equipment set up in the Project Enhance technology lab.

The lab - housed in the UTPA Rehab Annex on Schunior Road in Edinburg - was built to assist students with disabilities and the general public with technological training.

"It is important to get the community involved and give them access to the lab because individuals with disabilities often have to purchase assistive devices without the opportunity to try them out," said Hector Requeñez, lab coordinator. "Many times individuals with disabilities, their families and community agencies spend hundreds of dollars on assistive devices that does not meet their needs."

Although much of the equipment in the lab focuses on computer applications, there are other types of devices available including closed circuit television, low vision aids, digital recorders, adaptive switches, environmental control units and hearing devices.

The University community is using the lab to improve recruitment, retention and graduation of students with disabilities; however, the services are also available for outside educators, counselors and physical therapists who work in the community.

There are various types of activities in the lab that will help improve technology awareness. The lab offers equipment demonstrations, training and informal evaluations for UTPA students with disabilities.

"The lab can provide students with disabilities access to and training in the types of assistive technology that are available to help them be more successful as students," Requeñez said.

The lab is part of Project Enhance - a three-year grant program funded by the United States Department of Education. The project's main goal is to work with disability support offices on university and college campuses across the country to ensure that no student is left behind as they pursue their postsecondary education.

For more information on Project Enhance or the lab, call 956/292-7408.