Though we label people with developmental disabilities as “cognitively disabled” or “intellectually disabled,” we do not really know much of the time whether it is their ability to think that is impaired, or just their ability to communicate their thoughts, or take in communication from others. Examples of impaired communication that could be interpreted as impaired thought are easy to come up with — people with stroke, for example, or Stephen Hawking and ALS. Recently, it has become apparent that mobile, touch-screen technology like iPads is helping some people with developmental disabilities communicate more effectively. And once they can communicate more effectively we discover that they have more cognitive abilities than previously suspected. In this talk I would like to raise the prospect of individualized apps for people with developmental disabilities, aimed at eliminating the communication barriers that may mask their real power to think, imagine, and create.
Bio: Mitchell Temkin brings to his leadership role at the Garth Homer Society more than 25 years experience as a consultant and manager in business and the not-for-profit sector. He began his career as a strategist and program developer for Toronto social marketing agency, Manifest Communication. Subsequently, he was National Director of Advancement and Resource Development for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. He then became a founding partner and VP Marketing, Sales, and Business Development for Bird On A Wire Networks, a provider of Internet infrastructure. More recently he worked with a large Canadian travel retailer to launch the first online booking engine for student airfares in Canada.
Since moving from Toronto seven years ago, Mitchell has worked with clients providing strategy, business development, and board development services to public good organizations. In Victoria, he has been a volunteer with the United Way’s Volunteer Leadership Development Program and a Community Advisor to the Victoria Foundation. He is currently the President of Leadership Victoria.