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By Tasha Mahurin
In 1988, a group of parents, adults with disabilities, business people and service providers in the community who believed in the power of technology to aid people with disabilities joined together to form The East Tennessee Technology Access Center (ETTAC). Last week, ETTAC celebrated its 25th year of service with an open house held at its South Knoxville office.
Since its inception, ETTAC has transformed into a regional nonprofit agency that helps people with disabilities, throughout 24 counties, gain knowledge about and access to assistive technology devices. The devices help people with disabilities gain education and employment skills, perform activities of daily living, and lead more independent, productive lives. Additionally, ETTAC’s assistive technology equipment is used for assessment and training, and some devices are available for loan.
One of their notable causes is Toy Tech, an annual holiday party held for children with disabilities and their friends. Donated toys are adapted by volunteers and given to children who cannot play with typical toys.
“EETAC has been an important place in the community for years. They have helped so many people with disabilities live a life they might not have had without this center,” longtime volunteer and WVLT reporter, Whitney Kent, told The Focus.
City of Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, Knox County Mayor Burchett, several state legislators, and ETTAC board members and clients were present to cut the ribbon.
“I’m honored to be a part of the organization and hope to continue to help people with disabilities for the next 25 plus years,” Kent added.
The East Tennessee Technology Access Center is the region’s only nonprofit agency that connects people with disabilities to technology to enable them to work, learn, play and live more independently and productively.