Dr. Jennifer Wells saw the need to develop this type of interactive software after years of working with people with intellectual disabilities, autism, and severe chronic mental illness. She realized early on that people with intellectual disabilities had much more potential than commonly acknowledged. After receiving her PhD from the University of Oregon in 1994, Dr. Wells started working in the research realm and developing software for people with intellectual disabilities.
Dr. Wells immediately recognized that with independence comes increased autonomy, responsibility and risks -- the same risks facing the non-disabled population. With the need for everyone to understand potential emergencies that could occur, including individual and public health emergencies, Dr. Wells established Tech-Aid in 2002 to help people with intellectual disabilities prepare and deal with these types of events that have become part of our "requirements" of living in the 21st century. Since that time, Tech-Aid has received grant funding to do work in the areas of preventing sexual misconduct and opportunistic sex offending; substance abuse and crime prevention; HIV/AIDS prevention for men, for women and for youth; emergency and disaster preparedness; reducing abuse; sex and sexuality for women; communication in intimate relationships for women; healthy development for girls and adolescents.
In The Studio
The staff at Tech-Aid is a small group of individuals with extensive direct service experience working with individuals with intellectual, cognitive, and/or developmental disabilities, learning disabilities, autism, significantly challenging behavior, severe chronic mental illness, and traumatic brain injury.
Our professionals share clinical experience across a wide variety of service settings, including special education programs, vocational programs (i.e., sheltered to supported employment), socialization and recreational programs, and habilitative programs ranging from institutional to supported independent living settings.
Our working group is particularly unique given our parallel experiences in the arenas of software development, video production, graphic design, animation, curriculum design, and behavioral research. We have been working together for the past 11 years on a variety of interactive software programs designed specifically for teaching people with intellectual and other cognitive disabilities.
We have been successful in designing an award-winning interactive interface that individuals with intellectual disabilities, ranging from moderate to mild support needs, are able to use independently and competently.
Our core working values emphasize the importance of:
- harm reduction and avoidance
- personal responsibility and accountability
- quality of life
- human rights.
Our primary goal at Tech-Aid is to develop and disseminate innovative, functionally relevant teaching programs that promote individual well-being and independence in people with intellectual, cognitive and/or other developmental disabilities (such as autism), and mental health needs.
For more information on our president or our staff, please click on the links below: