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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

John Schimmel's Son Brings Technology to Disabled

Before the days of Steve Barron witch hunts, John Schimmel was Northampton County's Controller for twelve years. He's actually an accountant, too. I heard from John yesterday, not to talk about himself or politics, but about his son. He's quite proud and should be.

Schimmel's son, also named John, started a nonprofit in NYC. It's called DIYAbility, and focuses on maximizing the use of assistive technology to help those who are differently abled.

His story was recently picked up in an education blog about the 2013 Maker Fair. "Today if you can work a PC you can literally make anything," John explains. "We’re bringing technology and making into the lives of children with disabilities so they can discover their Abilities!!”

The idea is that giving the differently abled the technology to make their own 'stuff' leads to a better quality of life, more independence and just helps us all to stay curious. An iPad holder for someone who uses it as his sole means of communication? A DJ wheel chair that scratches as you move the chair back and forth? Modifying store bought toys to make them useful to a tot with physical challenges? That's what John does.

He also teaches at NYU and is employed at Dow Jones.

His Dad is very proud.

I'd like John to work on a transporter so I can just beam all over the place.

For those of you wondering, the older John has no bitterness about losing to Barron. "I have two wonderful grandsons; two great children (and their spouses); and a great wife. And I live so far in the Country that my zip code is "E-I-E-I-O". and also Ron [Angle] is one of my neighbors."

Schimmel never once said, "I told you so."

He could have.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately John is a nice guy. he let himself be pulled into silly vendetta audits pushed by Angle against then county executive Reibman.

That soured many and gave the appearance of pettiness.

Anonymous said...

How wonderful! What news. What an accomplishment. Dad proud, indeed.
Helping folks travel on their own.

Anonymous said...

Very cool. His dad should be very proud. God, we miss him. His successor will never do anything positive for this world until he chokes on that final Twinkie and leaves it.

Anonymous said...

7:03 You are way out of line Ma'am. Way to show your true colors. Love what this kid is doing.

Bernie O'Hare said...

#:20, Yeah, he did silly thing like report to Council on the true cost of the $111 million bond, and was right on the money.