Assistive Technologies To Be Showcased at HCIL Fair

May 3, 2011, 2:43 PM HST
* Updated May 3, 3:05 PM
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By Robin G. Pilus

Hawaii Center for Independent Living (HCIL) is seeking assistance in developing  it’s first Annual Assistive Technology Fair scheduled for June 22nd at Maui Beach Hotel.

The HCIL is a state-wide, non-profit agency dedicated to ensuring the rights of people with disbilities.  The goal of HCIL is to help people with disabilities live fully integrated lives in the community complete with equal opportunities and choices in life.

Maui Wheelers. Photo courtesy of HCIL.

Through this event,  HCIL hopes to increase awareness and access of the Maui’s disabled population to available supportive technologies and alternatives.

“This event is designed to create awareness and education about various adaptive solutions that are available,” according to Nani Watanabe, Senior Independent Living Specialist.  The fair is targeted to  solutions for individuals with hearing impairments, the blind and people with spinal cord/neurological injuries.


“We particularly want to showcase creative solutions that people in the community have created to solve their own challenges,” Watanabe said.  “Many of the commercial solutions to day-to-day concerns are not affordable and because of this many people go without and struggle.”


According to Watanabe, this is an opportunity for people to share things they have created for themselves or for loved ones, as well as showcase commercial and technological advances that help disabled persons have reasonable accommodations.

HCIL is seeking sponsors, vendors, financial supporters and interested persons to help with organizing the event.

Hands on demonstrations of adaptive solutions will be encouraged and Watanabe promises that this event will be a unique one for Maui.


“Many times this type of fair is available on Oahu or the mainland and our disabled community does not have access,” said Watanabe.

Nani Watanabe, Hawaii Center for Independent Living - Maui Branch. Photo courtesy of Robin Pilus.

The Maui Wheelers and the Maui County Deaf and Hard of Hearing Support Groups are active in organizing the event.  These groups are part of the Maui Branch of the HCIL.

For more information call Nani Watanabe at 242-4966 or email her at [email protected].

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