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NEC Foundation of America Announces Grants

Grants sustain exclusive focus on technology for human potential

Islandia, NY, December 16, 2005óNEC Foundation of America today announced grants totaling $155,000 to five organizations. The grants support innovative technology that fosters the integration and full participation in society of people with disabilities.

"Through these grants, NEC Foundation again demonstrates its consistent goal of advancing the potential of individuals through technology," noted Hisashi Kaneko, president of NEC Foundation of America."These funded projects will add to the storehouse of technology available to serve the education, employment and inclusion of people with disabilities, including one grant that helps those who need to replace technology lost in the recent Gulf Coast storms. We are proud to support these outstanding efforts."

Organizations receiving support are:

Abilities! (formerly National Center for Disability Services (NCDS)  -  $40,000
Albertson, NY

Toward development and national dissemination of a web-based multimedia educational program designed to increase awareness about the potential and use of assistive technology in the workplace. This nationally disseminated project (with a working title of A Functional Approach to Workplace Accommodations) will inform employers about ways in which technology can assist qualified individuals with disabilities in employment settings.

Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC)  -  $25,000
Washington, DC

To support development of accessible components, including the development of new devices, for a major traveling exhibition called Wild Music: Sounds and Songs of Life. Slated for a six-year tour, this exhibition will integrate a range of accessible experiences into exploration of an exciting new field of interdisciplinary research on the biology of music -- the ancient roots of human music, the musical instincts we share not only with all humans but with other animals, and the developmental and social roles of music. Beyond accessibility of the exhibition, a major objective of the project is to demonstrate model practices and technology for use by other museums in contexts beyond Wild Music.

Disability Funders Network (DFN)  -  $30,000
Falls Church, VA

Toward Rapid Response Fund, a mini-grants effort to serve people with disabilities with unmet critical needs as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

Film Arts Foundation (As fiscal sponsor of Freedom Machines)  -  $25,000
San Francisco, CA

To assist in the outreach and dissemination of the Freedom Machines Educational DVD to post-secondary educators nationwide, as well as secondary level teachers and administrators for classroom and staff development purposes. Freedom Machines is a national communications project about the ways in which people with disabilities -- the largest minority group in the country -- are improving their lives by using technology.

University of Oregon, College of Education  -  $35,000
Center for Advanced Technology in Education
Eugene, OR

To support the development and dissemination of Computer-Based Study Strategies (CBSS) for Handhelds Project, which presents strategies and materials for assisting middle and high school students with disabilities to use handheld computers as assistive devices for studying. The project builds on more than ten years of comparable computer-based success that aids students with a variety of disabilities to learn how computer technology can support academic tasks that require reading, writing, and studying, as well as inquiry-based learning and critical thinking.

For more information about NEC Foundation of America, including application guidelines, please call 631.232.2212, or visit www.necfoundation.org. NEC Foundation of America was established in 1991 and endowed at $10 million by NEC Corporation and its United States subsidiaries. Income generated by the endowment is donated to nonprofit organizations in the United States in support of programs with national reach and impact in the arena of assistive technology for people with disabilities. Through its grants, NEC Foundation of America underscores its philosophy of advancing society through technology and enabling individuals to realize their full potential.

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