CT woman who got robotic arm through insurance advocates for others with disabilities to have same access to assistive tech

Health

(WTNH) — Independence can mean different things to different people. When it comes to those with disabilities, assistive technology means everything. November is Assistive Technology Awareness Month.

So, what is assistive technology? It can be any item, piece of equipment, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

Like Carissa Decelles, a graphic artist and art director from Willimantic. With the help of a nonprofit organization, Disability Rights Connecticut, Decelles will have a robotic arm, covered by insurance, to give her more of that independence.

“It makes a tremendous amount of difference having devices and technology and equipment that allow you to access the world and have the same opportunities to access the world as everybody else,” Decelles explained.

Awareness for the able-bodied but also for those with a disability who just aren’t aware of what might be out there for them.

Sheldon Toubman is the litigation attorney who helped Decelles receive assistance with the robotic arm. She had been denied the insurance claim for it originally.

“In terms of independence, it’s not just a feeling of I’d like to be able to do this myself, but it actually in many cases can be the difference between living in your own apartment versus being institutionalized,” Toubman said.

Decelles said it’s not only a victory for herself, but for so many others.

“I really wanted to find a way to get this through insurance so that people don’t have to be employed to get this equipment. They have access to it, no matter what their circumstances are,” Decelles said.

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