Power Up AT Conference underway in Columbia

Related Story

COLUMBIA- A conference designed to show new technology for disabled citizens is making its way to Columbia.

Starting Monday, the 2015 Power Up AT Conference and Expo will be taking place. In its 21st year, the conference is designed to show attendees improvements in the field of assistive technology.

Assistive technology is designed to help accommodate people with disabilities, and can range anywhere from vehicles used to transport people to devices that assist people with hearing and vision.

"Assistive technology literally changes everyday", said Marty Exline, Director of Missouri Assistive Technology. "There's something new coming onto the market every single day, so this gives people a chance to come in and learn about what's available, and maybe it can help someone they're working with or maybe someone in their family."

Guests at the conference will hear from 34 speakers, who will be discussing several topics, and will also have the chance to hear about new policy decisions.

Exline said there will also be 50 assistive technology vendors in attendance. They will be available to speak with guests on assistive technology issues and will also have products available for guests to demo.

While vendors will have many types of assistive technology to display, Exline said there is one type of technology he expects to be prominent at this year's conference.

"There are a lot of different apps that somebody can use on a mobile device like an iPad that can help them speak if they're not able to in terms of designing sentences and helping them convey their thoughts," he said.

Exline expects between 400 and 500 guests to attend. While it costs $125 to attend the entire conference, Exline said the public is welcome to stop by and attend a lecture that interests them.

The Power Up AT Conference will run until Tuesday at the Holiday Inn Executive Center.