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EASTER SEALS AND DIGITAL EQUIPMENT JOIN FORCES TO BRING HIGH TECH HELP TO THOSE WITH DISABILITIES

 EASTER SEALS AND DIGITAL EQUIPMENT JOIN FORCES
 TO BRING HIGH TECH HELP TO THOSE WITH DISABILITIES
 CHICAGO, July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Easter Seal Society and Digital Equipment Corp. are collaborating on a $1 million program that will give people with disabilities access to the computer technology that can help to become more independent.
 Through the National Technology Network, Digital will donate $1 million in DECstation(TM) computer systems to 60 Easter Seal affiliates during the next three years. Those affiliates will use the equipment to train people with disabilities to use computers in order to gain greater control over their lives and environments.
 Implementation of the program coincides with the second anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which occurred on July 26, 1990.
 "For most Americans, computers have freed us from many of life's more mundane tasks," said James. E. Williams Jr., National Easter Seals president. "But technology is also enabling many people with disabilities to achieve true independence."
 The National Technology Network will help Easter Seal clients in a number of ways. "From teaching hearing impaired children to talk to enabling disabled individuals to complete the most routine tasks of daily living, computers are solving problems that were once considered insurmountable," Williams said.
 The National Technology Network evolved from Project Tech, a partnership established in 1989 between Digital and the Massachusetts Easter Seal Society.
 Among those who benefited from Project Tech is Corey Nelson, who was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident in 1975. He received a Digital word processing system through the program which, when adapted to his needs, enabled him to become an advocate in disability issues. "The equipment I received through Project Tech allowed me to get my written work done myself," said Nelson, who now works as a peer counselor for the Center for Living and Working in Worcester, Mass. "I didn't have to depend on anyone else."
 According to Jane Hamel, Digital's corporate contributions manager, "We have seen, through Project Tech, the role information technology plays in providing opportunities and options for those with disabilities. We are proud to join the National Easter Seal Society in replicating that program through its affiliates across the country."
 The National Easter Seal Society is a nonprofit, community-based voluntary health agency dedicated to helping people of all ages and disabilities achieve independence. Its 160 affiliates nationwide serve more than one million people each year through programs that provide rehabilitation and preventive care services, camping, computer-assisted technology, public education and advocacy.
 Digital Equipment Corp., headquartered in Maynard, Mass., is the leading worldwide supplier of networked computer systems, software and services.
 -0- 7/14/92
 /CONTACT: Robert Osgood of National Easter Seals Society, 312-726-6200/ CO: National Easter Seal Society; Digital Equipment Corp. ST: Massachusetts IN: SU:


KD -- NY031 -- 9020 07/14/92 10:25 EDT
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Date:Jul 14, 1992
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