CPD seeks study participants

October 30, 2012 by Sue Reeves

A new study to find out more about the evacuation behaviors of people with mobility-related disabilities is seeking research subjects. Individuals who have a physical or sensory impairment that affects their mobility are encouraged to participate.

The results of the study, which is being conducted by Dr. Keith Christensen at Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities, will be used to create buildings that better support individuals with disabilities during emergency evacuations.

Individuals accepted into the study will be asked to come to the USU campus for about two hours on either Nov. 9, 15 or 17. Participants will complete a short survey and walk around a circular track containing items typically found in a building such as doorways, corners and other people. Participants may be asked to walk up and down a typical length of stairs, if appropriate. Movement will be measured using a video tracking system, and there will be frequent opportunities to rest. Participants will be compensated with a $100 Visa gift card.

E-mail Christensen at evacstudy@cpdusu.org for more information or to apply for the study. Applicants will be contacted for additional information, and if accepted, will be scheduled for the study.

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CAC Corner: AT Lab can be a “moving” experience

May 22, 2012 by cpehrson

This CAC Corner blog was written by members of the CPD’s Consumer Advisory Council, Tina Peck (self-advocate), Gordon Richins (CPD Consumer Liaison), and Connie Pehrson (former CAC member).

Head shot of Clay Christensen, AT Lab Coordinator

Clay Christensen, AT Lab Coordinator

Tina Peck shares an experience she had recently that gave her an opportunity to try out the services offered by one of the CPD’s great programs:  In January I pulled my tendon in my knee and was unable to walk far distances. It was with the assistance of Clay (Christensen), over at the Assistive Technology (AT) Lab, that I was able to borrow an electric scooter in order to make it around campus. The AT Lab is part of the Center for Persons with Disabilities (CPD). The CPD and AT Lab, as well as their employees, are dedicated to assisting people at the University and in the community.

Gordon Richins has made some good friends at the AT Lab and values their knowledge and skills.  They have kept him moving right along:   As the Consumer Liaison here at the CPD, over the past several years I have benefited greatly from the AT Lab for minor maintenance and repair on my power chair. An example of minor maintenance would be when I purchased new tires for my wheelchair and the students working on lab hours at the AT Lab replaced my old bald ones with the new ones, under the supervision of the AT Lab personnel. An example of a minor repair would be when I recently broke the plastic tray attached to my wheelchair. I purchased the necessary Plexiglas and the AT Lab personnel were able to cut the Plexiglas to the necessary shape and size, drill the necessary holes in it, and attach it to my power wheelchair. These are just minor examples of how the AT Lab provides a much-needed and appreciated service to the community and also allows college students to gain some valuable hands on experience under AT Lab guidance and supervision.
Another recipient of mobility devices from the AT Lab, Connie Pehrson, credits them for giving her the ability to continue to work at the University through the years:  When the department I was working in moved to the second floor of a new building on campus, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to move with them due to health and mobility issues that I had.  After receiving my first electric scooter from Options for Independence, I have relied on the AT Lab for repairs, replacement batteries, and eventually traded my faulty scooter in for a reconditioned one.  From Stan Clelland, the former AT Lab Coordinator, to Clay Christensen, the current Coordinator, my needs have always been met.  They have gone the extra mile to make sure that I can retain my independence and get where I need to go safely. 
Thank you AT Lab, for helping to keep us moving along.

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