Q & A with Jeannie Krull.

What’s one thing you’d like people to understand about assistive technology?

That it’s not so complicated. I think that the word technology scares so many people, especially older Americans. It doesn’t have to plug in, it doesn’t have to be hard.


It could be as simple as a rubber band on the salt and pepper shakers to distinguish the two for someone who is blind. We want people to understand that it doesn’t have to be, you know, a smartphone or something that they might be scared of.


And I think also to get them to understand that probably everybody knows what assistive technology is, they just don’t know they know it. From hearing aids to somebody in a wheelchair. You (Tom Gerhardt) and I have our glasses. People are using assistive technology every day, all around us.


I think about my life as an assistive technology professional and I just want to help people. I want AT to be as accessible as a physician writing a prescription.


Somewhere along the line you start realizing how many people don’t have assistive technology and how many people need it. And nobody gave them the technology to even change a channel on their television and they may not even be aware that it exists. You start hearing stories like that, and your views change, and you start building this passion and realize we need to change this.

What excited you most about the future of assistive technology and/or North Dakota Assistive?

I can’t wait to see what we can do next to change lives for people and the way we serve them.


I think we have a culture of innovation and I think we can be even better. And it’s never settling, never ending.


We have twenty-year programs like Senior Safety. How can we make it better? What else can we put in there that’s going to change lives? And then it’s things like building relationships so people will accept what we have to offer.


We go forward. We’re always changing and innovating. And… I’m going to go back in time here. We had a loan library in 1994. It wasn’t required until 2004. We had a demonstration center in 2002, and it wasn’t required to do demonstrations until 2004. So, we’ve just been able to stay ahead of the curve.


With North Dakota Assistive, I also can’t wait to see what we can do to build capacity and awareness because we’ll never be able to help all of the people that need assistive technology ourselves, nor should we.


I can’t wait to see where we go next!!

Tell us an interesting fact about State and National Assistive Technology Day.

Our own Senator Kevin Cramer is part of getting National Assistive Technology Day approved. He and Senator Bob Casey work together on it. It’s a bi-partisan effort to get it passed.


They both, I believe, have done it together since Sen. Cramer has been in office. And it’s pretty nice to have that happen, to have it done together.

State and national Assistive Technology Awareness Day official proclamation.
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