Posted on September 22nd, 2014 by Sara Croft
Five years ago, Wade Wingler — the Director of Assistive Technology at Easter Seals Crossroads
— hired me as a summer intern in the assistive technology department. Wade asked me to create an exhibit of vintage and antiquated assistive technology devices for the Indiana Assistive Technology Act (INDATA) conference, and my fresh-out-of-college art history degree was put to good use! Here I am five years later, still working at Easter Seals Crossroads, just in another role.
Wade Wingler was recently featured in The Indianapolis Star for a Q&A piece called “How I Got My Job.” He shared his journey from writing computer software at the age of 8 to obtaining a degree in sociology from Butler University in Indianapolis.
This year Wade celebrates 21 years at Easter Seals Crossroads, keeping his brain on high alert each and every day to find ways to bring brand new innovations and technology to individuals with disabilities. Technology and assistive devices have changed drastically in the 21 years Wade has been here. “The impact of smartphones and mobile/tablet devices has had an enormous impact on my industry,” Wade said in the newspaper story. “In the past, people who were blind would spend several thousand dollars to buy a computer with a screen reading system. Today, every iPad can become a talking computer with a few simple commands and at no extra cost.”
This constant change means Wade and his staff of 15 are always reading articles and attending trainings to stay ahead of the curve. When I walk to Wade’s office, I pass a room with a glass window that shows his podcast studio — an addition he made two years ago. Wade told me once that he always wanted to be a radio personality. Now, with this podcast studio, his personal interest has met his career goals: his Assistive Technology Radio podcast is #1 in iTunes for “assistive technology” and was rated the #1 Radio Show and Podcast for people who are blind or visually impaired by About.com. Wade shares information about assistive technology to everyone who listens to his podcasts, not just those in Indiana, but all over the world.
“Being a good listener, being able to understand needs and opportunities as they arise, and being able to put together a plan of action has been key to my career success,” Wade told the Indianapolis Star reporter. I can attest to Wade’s ability to listen and communicate clearly with his staff and those he serves. Wade is my mentor, my colleague, my friend, and someone whom I am grateful to have in my life. Congrats to Wade on getting such great recognition for all the work he does for Easter Seals Crossroads!
Related Content from Easterseals.com:
We’ve also got technology recommendations from Easter Seals’ BridgingApps, founded by Cristen Reat. Find out Cristen’s favorite apps for her children with special needs and without.