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Montanans with disabilities gain freedom using assistive technology

Nonprofit MonTECH uses cooking demonstration to share technology
assistive tech cooking
Posted at 9:11 AM, Feb 08, 2023

MISSOULA - You know what they say, the way to a person's heart is through food. But sometimes cooking a meal isn't easy — even with the simplest of recipes.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 4 Montanans live with some sort of disability and if it affects their motor skills, a simple project like cooking a meal can become a difficult or dangerous task.

MonTECH is a nonprofit organization that connects cutting-edge assistive technology and the Montanans who need it. Monday at the Missoula Public Library, MonTECH demonstrated the tech while cooking with Missoula chef Wisam Raheem.

MonTECH program director Molly Kimmel said if someone is able to cook for themself, they have freedom.

“Our goal is really to connect people with disabilities with assistive technology so they can be as independent as they want to be,” Kimmel said. “We have about 3000 items that are available for free to any Montanan with a disability for a 30-day loan, so they can try it before they buy it.”

Assistive technology is an umbrella term for any device that helps give a person with a disability more autonomy.

Some of the cooking devices shown were as simple as a fork with a thicker handle to a self-feeding robot using triggers attached to an eyebrow.

Kimmel said she has seen people’s lives change using these items.

“Depending on what the issue is; self-care, communication, vision, hearing, not just eating or meal prep,” Kimmel said. “We’re here to help you figure out what tool will help.”

If you or someone you know has a disability and would like to browse MonTECH’s library of assistive technology, follow this link.

Positively Montana