Photo of Governor Burgum with people from ND Vison Services/School for the Blind, ND School for the Deaf, ND Assistive, and Anne CarlsenFARGO, N.D. – Governor Doug Burgum has declared March 4, 2020 Assistive Technology Awareness Day after providers in North Dakota came together petitioning for awareness. The new day promotes independence to those with disabilities, broadening educational experience and promoting a more diverse workforce continuing North Dakota’s leadership with programs in line with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Organizations petitioning include North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind (NDVS/BS), North Dakota School for the Deaf/Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (NDSD/RCDHH), North Dakota (ND) Assistive and Anne Carlsen Center all of which use assistive technology firsthand.

Awareness stems from the roughly 20.3 percent of North Dakotan population having a disability as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with U.S. Census Bureau found in 2019, 5,660 children ages 0-17 in North Dakota have a disability, cited in the proclamation.

Beth Bakke Stenehjem, assistive technology consultant with ND Assistive, “No matter what your age or needs are, assistive technology can help bridge the gap between ability and disability,” she states. “Assistive technology incorporates a wide variety of tools or equipment that can help anyone but especially helps those with disabilities in North Dakota.”

About Anne Carlsen Center: Anne Carlsen is a non-profit organization providing individuals with development disabilities or delays with services and supports for more than 75 years. Anne Carlsen has positioned itself on the cutting edge of innovation with unique programs, creative therapies and advanced assistive technologies that provide life-changing programming to those served. Learn more at annecarlsen.org.

About ND Assistive: ND Assistive is a non-profit organization that strives to bring assistive technology devices and services into the lives of North Dakotans of all ages who need it. The goal of ND Assistive is to help bridge the gap between ability and disability using assistive technology. Learn more at ndassistive.org.

About NDVS/SB: North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind (NDVS/SB) provides statewide leadership, center based programming, and regionalized outreach services ensuring that the specialized needs of persons of all ages who are blind or visually impaired are met. NDVS/SB is a division of the Department of Public Instruction, Kirsten Baesler, State Superintendent, and is located in Grand Forks, with regional offices in Fargo, Jamestown, Minot and Bismarck. Learn more at ndvisionservices.com.

About NDSD/RCDHH: The North Dakota School for the Deaf, Resource Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing provides advocacy, leadership, and educational expertise for all individuals in North Dakota who are deaf or hard of hearing. NDSD/RCDHH is a division of the Department of Public Instruction, Kirsten Baesler, State Superintendant, and is located in Devils Lake with outreach services across the state. Learn more at nd.gov/ndsd.

###