PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. The Pleasantville Special Education PTA held its fifth annual Assistive Technology Expo at Pleasantville High School Wednesday for parents and educators of children with special needs.
"We realize how critical it is for students to be affluent in technology and we want to help accomplish that today," said Tara Klein, the Pleasantville SEPTA event chair.
About 12 different assistive technology vendors set up tables within the high school's library for guests to access. Each vendor, which included Apple, Westchester Institute for Human Development, Burke Rehabilitation and Inspiration Software, Inc., offered different products and services to assist children with special needs.
Saena Downing, an Apple Education representative, gave guests a demonstration in a separate classroom on how Apple's products and programs, such as facetime and text-to-speech, can be useful for students with special needs.
Klein said it was important for parents and educators to learn about these technologies in order to benefit many different students.
"We want parents and educators to come here to learn and access these special resources so that they can then pass them along to others and spread the word,"Izel Obermeyer is co-director of the Assistive Technology Program at the Westchester Insititute for Human Development and said she enjoys coming back to the expo every year to inform guests about various programs and products the institute offers.
"We've been coming here as a vendor for five years now and I think it's because we've developed a great relationship with Pleasantville and their special education program," Obermeyer said.
The expo was not only available to Pleasantville, but that guests from 42 school districts across the Westchester area were invited to participate. Klein said that due to help from sponsors, such as TD Bank and Westchester ARC, the event was free to guests and completely offset the cost for the Pleasantville SEPTA.
"We're very grateful for the help we received in putting together this event and we wouldn't have been able to host this without it," Klein said.
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