Central Coast Assistive Technology Center
of United Cerebral Palsy of San Luis Obispo
CURB CUTS: Assistive Technology on TV
The Curb Cuts crew films Cassandra using her Eyegaze system
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Welcome to the Curb Cuts webpage. Here you can get general information about the show (times, channel, etc), watch the episodes that aired on TV, and learn more about the technology covered in each episode. We hope you’ll also share your feedback about the show, including suggestions for future episodes.
Show Description & Purpose:
Curb Cuts is a local TV show produced and hosted by John Lee and Paul Mortola of the Central Coast Assistive Technology Center (CCATC). Curb Cuts debuted on SLO Public Access Channel 2 in June 2006. The goal of the show is to increase the public’s awareness and understanding of assistive technology (AT) and its power to enhance the functioning and quality of life for people with disabilities. Each episode of the show focuses on a different type of assistive technology and features personal experiences of local individuals. Examples of show topics include hands-free computer alternatives, blind/low vision technology, augmentative communication devices, assistive listening devices for hard of hearing, and wheelchair/mobility aids. By featuring the personal experience of local users of assistive technology on TV, Curb Cuts aims to give people with disabilities a greater voice in the media.
CCATC has found that many local people with disabilities and disability service providers alike report little or no knowledge of assistive technology. This is a reflection of national trends. Unfortunately, assistive technology is not typically found in stores nor regularly featured in the media (television, radio, or print). Television conveys action and sound, which is ideal for showing how assistive technology can enable people with disabilities to engage in everyday activities.
Why is the show called “Curb Cuts”?
We chose to title the show “Curb Cuts” because it refers to a common accessibility feature that is found on streets throughout this country. A “curb cut” is a ramped break in the sidewalk that allows a person using a wheelchair to go on or off the sidewalk without having to deal with a barrier (the curb). Although they were originally designed for people using wheelchairs, curb cuts are useful to many others, including skateboarders, parents with baby strollers, and bicyclists.
Like curb cuts, assistive technology helps people with disabilities overcome barriers by enabling them to perform activities that they might not otherwise be able to do. Some assistive technologies can also be useful to those for whom it was not originally intended. For example, closed captions are an assistive technology that was originally designed for people with hearing impairments; however, they may also be useful for viewers with learning disabilities, for those learning English, for young children learning to read, etc. With “Curb Cuts,” we hope to show viewers that when we design technology and the environment with the needs of people with disabilities in mind, everyone can benefit.
Showtimes & Channels:
The show airs on Channel 2 (SLO Public Access) for Charter subscribers in SLO County and on Channel 25 (Santa Maria Community TV) for Comcast subscribers in Santa Maria.
Each episode airs for 2 months:
Please contact us if you would like to air Curb Cuts on your station.
Curb Cuts aims to make its content as accessible as possible to all viewers by providing subtitles for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, audio description for people with visual impairments, and subtitles for Spanish-speaking individuals. Subtitling is provided by Visual Data Media Services, and audio description is provided by the Narrative Television Network. The audio-described version of each episode will be available on this website shortly after the episode airs on TV. Please contact CCATC (805-549-7420) if you have difficulty accessing the audio-described version of the show on our website.
Funding, Sponsors & Support:
Curb Cuts has received generous funding and donations from the following sources:
Each episode of Curb Cuts includes a public service commercial from the California Telephone Access Program (CTAP). CCATC is a Permanent Display Center for CTAP, meaning that you can make an appointment with us to stop by and check out the free specialized phones and accessories that are available for Californians with disabilities through CTAP. Please call us at 805-549-7420 (Voice) or 805-549-7424 (TDD). For more information about the CTAP Display Center at our office, you can also visit our website link: CTAP Free Phone Program.
Avila Beach Wheelchair:
During the closing credits of Curb Cuts, we show footage of our friend Myesha Thomas using the motorized beach wheelchair at Avila Beach. For more information on this beach wheelchair, please visit our website link: Avila Beach Wheelchair.
Roll Over Productions:
The Roll Over Productions bulldog that you see at the very end of our show is Hot Rod Gertie, a bulldog featured on the website for Doggon' Wheels. Doggon’ Wheels is a company that designs custom wheelchairs for dogs and other pets with mobility impairments so that they can continue to live active lives. Thanks to Doggon’ Wheels for letting us use this great photo for our show.
Please email us (email@example.com) and share your thoughts and questions about the show, as well as any suggestions you have on what you’d like to see or how we can make the show better.
All information © Copyright 2007-2009 CCATC unless otherwise specified.
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