NCDHHS' Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DSDHH) and Relay NC kicked off National Deaf History Month with Taste of Technology – an expo highlighting new technologies for DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Blind people.
The Taste of Technology took place on April 1 at McKimmon Conference Center. This was the first in-person event since the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 175 participants across North Carolina attended the expo, and they were delighted to be together in person again. Those in attendance were DeafBlind and hard of hearing participants, along with support service providers and American Sign Language interpreters.
The purpose of the event was to have DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Blind people learn about the latest equipment available and have hands-on experience with it, thus learning how it can enrich their daily lives. Participants had the opportunity to interact with 18 vendors and learn more about the services and products they offer. Jan Withers, Director of DSDHH, and Chris Egan, Assistant Secretary for Employment and Inclusion addressed the crowd with brief remarks.
The event was an opportunity for DSDHH to meet the needs of a particularly underserved population while highlighting cross-departmental cooperation and public-private partnerships.
Attendees raved about the event and said it was meaningful to them. Their favorite aspects of Taste of Technology included “getting to talk one to one with the vendors,” “interacting with old friends and making new friends,” and “learning about the newest products.” Participants also expressed their appreciation for the community coming out to support them.
The successful event was DSDHH’s second biennial Taste of Technology. The next expo is scheduled for October 2024.