Connecting individuals with assistive technology in the River Valley just became easier with a partnership between the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education and Increasing Capabilities Access Network (iCAN).


iCAN is the Arkansas Statewide Assistive Technology program designed to make technology available and accessible to people of all abilities. ACHE will now serve as a demonstration site.


Dean of the ACHE School of Occupational Therapy Jennifer Moore said, "ACHE School of Occupational Therapy and School of Physical Therapy faculty and students will provide demonstrations on how to use assistive equipment to members of the community in need of these resources. Eventually, ACHE hopes to become a training site."


"As a demonstration site, residents in need of assistive tools will be able to visit the ACHE College of Health Sciences building to browse available equipment, learn how to use it, and get connected with the iCAN office in Little Rock to place their order," Moore said. "The best part is this service is free to the community."


iCAN has received a grant and is using those funds to support the demonstration site at ACHE. In addition, the partnership with iCAN assures available equipment is always up-to-date.


The assistive technologies offered at ACHE will be chosen to accommodate the needs of people within the ACHE service area and will address issues such as limited mobility, communication challenges, and more. There is no age minimum or maximum.


LaVona Traywick, Ph.D., associate professor for the ACHE School of Physical Therapy and former member of the iCAN Board of Directors, is largely responsible for this development and sees it as an extension of the ACHE mission.


"An element of the ACHE mission is ‘to improve the lives of others," Traywick said. "Assistive equipment gives people the freedom to live life to the fullest, and individuals can do that without driving to Little Rock."


"The partnership with iCAN will not only benefit the surrounding community, but will provide an excellent learning resource for future ACHE occupational and physical therapy students," Moore said. "Students will have a unique opportunity to operate the equipment and learn firsthand how it can benefit their future clients."


There is no cost for people to see a demonstration of the equipment.


Tracey Zeiner, OTR, Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy at ACHE is the contact person.


People interested in seeing a demonstration of equipment can contact her at 479-401-6006.


To learn more about iCAN of Arkansas, visit www.ar-ican.org.