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New Uintah Basin Technology Lab Providing Services To People With Disabilities

At an open house on September 7, Utah State University and the Utah Assistive Technology Program will celebrate the opening of the new Uintah Basin Assistive Technology Lab. The lab, which opened in early July in Roosevelt, provides services for people with disabilities.

Employees and volunteers at the assistive technology lab on the Utah State University main campus in Logan create specific technologies, such as personalized wheelchair controls, to assist people with disabilities.

Gordon Richins from Fairview, Idaho, for example, uses the AT Lab regularly. Because Richins is paralyzed, he uses a wheelchair to get from place to place.

“The chair I’m sitting in is my sixth chair over the years, and they’ve customized each one of them,” he said.

But Clay Christensen, the director of Logan's AT Lab, says wheelchairs aren’t the only assistive technologies the program creates. The program helps people with all sorts of disabilities, even those who are injured temporarily.

“It may be anything from an adapted spoon or fork all the way to an iPad, augmentative communication or something related to education, autism or something like that,” Christensen said.

Christensen believes the new AT Lab in Roosevelt will benefit families who live in the area. He said the program plans to open another lab in Southern Utah within the next few years to help people in that area as well.

In the meantime, the labs in Logan and Roosevelt will continue to rely on volunteers, donations, students and employees to help improve lives.