SC Assistive Technology Program (SCATP)
USC School of Medicine
Phone: (803)935-5263 or toll-free (800)915-4522
For Immediate Release:
Friday, March 12, 2010
Special Feature & Guest Includes:
Adapted Dragster Race Car & Driver
Spartanburg, S.C.: Are you interested in the latest assistive technology devices, equipment, gadgets, and software to help people of all ages live more independently in all areas of life? If yes, make plans to attend the South Carolina Assistive Technology (SCATP) Expo 2010 in Spartanburg on Thursday, March 18 from 9am-4pm at the Marriott Spartanburg at Renaissance Park.
This event is of interest to people with disabilities or temporary limitations, caregivers of children or parents, educators and people who provide services to people with disabilities. Expo 2010 is the only event of its kind in the state, offering more than 60 exhibits, hands-on opportunities to see and try technology, and 15 workshops in three time slots during the day. The event is free, open to the public and no pre-registration is needed.
Workshops will address a wide variety of topics, including assistive technology for computer access, employment, education (including post secondary education), communication aids, home modifications, and living aids for seniors. Sessions on designing accessible web pages are also offered. A full workshop schedule can be found at http://www.sc.edu/scatp/expo/expo10sessions.html.
This year’s Expo will feature something special and interesting to anyone who enjoys race cars. A specially adapted 200 inch long dragster will be on display and the driver, Craig Hairston, who uses a wheel chair and has adapted the race car with hand controls, will be there to talk about his experiences.
In January of 1979, an automobile accident left Craig with paralysis. According to Craig, the challenge was not “What will I have to give up?” but “How can I do it now?” Prior to the accident, Craig had been involved in various forms of racing, and one thing he knew was that motor sports competition would still be part of his lifestyle. By 1983, he raced in one of the toughest races known to man, the Baja 1000. Racing in a specially prepared off road car with hand controls, he not only finished, but won his class and received a special “Racer’s Spirit” award from the SCORE sanctioning body.
Since that time he has continued to race in off road vehicles, Mini-Sprint cars, Legends cars, and is now building a dragster he calls the ”World’s Quickest Wheelchair” to see if he can crack the 200 MPH barrier in a quarter mile.
When asked why he chose racing as is recreational passion, Craig responded, “In racing, there’s no separate class for me. There’s no sympathy, special privileges, or accommodations. I’m either going to be the best on that day or I’m going to have to come back and try again. Racing doesn’t separate me from everyone else, it includes me.
“Another important part of the racing program is the positive effect it has on other people with disabilities, especially kids. I am always in awe of a young person that has to fight the battles of any disability to have a quality life. Underneath the label of being disabled, they are regular people that have passions, dreams, and goals just like everyone else. So my real joy is inviting a young person with a disability to come join the team and be part of the racing experience. At the end of the weekend, if they go home with a big smile on their face, then I’ve made a small difference.”
For more information contact: Craig Hairston at firstname.lastname@example.org , 803-606-0153 or 803-777-3886
The South Carolina Assistive Technology Expo 2010 is sponsored by the agencies and organizations:
- South Carolina Assistive Technology Program at the USC School of Medicine Center for Disability Resources
- S.C. Department of Education
- S.C. Department of Disabilities and Special Needs
- S.C. Association for Educational Technology
- S.C. Assistive Technology Advisory Committee, Division of State Information Technology (DSIT)
- S.C. Budget and Control Board
- Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, Department of Education
This attached photo is of Craig Hairston, who uses a wheel chair and has a specially adapted 200 inch long dragster race car that he operates with hand controls.