i3 | August 29, 2019

The CTA Foundation Uses Tech to Connect

by 
Reve Van Croft

During its Annual Board of Trustees Meeting, the CTA Foundation voted to fund $700,000 in grants to 16 nonprofits. Some were previous grantees and others were new, but all had admirable programmatic ideas to help seniors or people with disabilities by integrating tech in their lives

Connecting Via Voice

One of the new grantees is the AARP Foundation, the philanthropic branch of AARP, which hosted the first Annual Pitch Competition during CES 2019. AARP plans to use voice technology within ve to ten low-income senior communities in urban areas like New York City with devices like Amazon’s Alexa to engage seniors who live alone. While Alexa is often used to inform users of the weather or news, the AARP Foundation wants to develop a third-party app for the device’s free marketplace, Alexa Skills. By having the recipients conduct a self-assessment via the AARP skill, Alexa will suggest options to connect seniors with their peers, reducing isolation and loneliness.

Real World VR Training

The Arc is another first-time grantee. They are working with the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory to design a virtual reality system to help adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) better navigate the workplace and the tasks they need to complete. The project seeks to pave the way for people with I/DD to live nancially independent lives. The Arc also partners with various companies or recruiters open to hiring people with disabilities.

A Fresh Perspective on FinTech

According to the National Council on Aging, “a study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine reveals that out-of-pocket medical expenditures in the five years prior to an individual’s death total more than $38,000, leaving one in four seniors approaching bankruptcy.” This shows why it’s crucial that seniors are informed and in control of their nances. Easterseals of Greater Houston hope to use their BridgingApp program to bring the bene ts of ntech to people dealing with different cognitive impairments like traumatic brain injury, a stroke or Alzheimer’s disease.

These are just a few grantees that the CTA Foundation is funding. To learn more, visit CTAFoundation.tech/grants.

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