Featured image for#MyLifeWithAT2018 Photo Contest Winners

To celebrate Assistive Technology Awareness Month in Pennsylvania, we hosted our fourth annual #MyLifeWithAT2018 Photo Contest throughout November. Assistive technology users were invited to enter a photo showing what they’re doing with their Assistive Technology (AT). Entrants were then asked to tell us in the photo’s caption what kind of AT they use and how it makes a difference for them. They were encouraged to share their entry with friends to gain votes.

Entrants were also encouraged to post their photo on Instagram with the hashtag #MyLifeWithAT2018 for an extra chance to win – every like on their Instagram photo counted as a vote as well.

Prizes included:

  • Grand Prize: Amazon Echo Show
  • Runner-Up Prize: Amazon Echo
  • Wild Card Prize: Amazon Echo Dot

As described in the official rules and regulations, a panel of PATF staff chose Grand Prize and Runner-Up winners from the 10 entries with the most votes. A Wild Card winner was to be selected from all the entries.

The panel used the following criteria to determine the winners:

  • Grand Prize winner selection was based on the post that most embodied the spirit of #MyLifeWithAT2018. The photo and caption should exemplify something important to the entrant, no matter how big or small, that the entrant was able to do with the help of AT.
  • Runner-Up Prize winner was selected based on the post with the most innovative type of or use of AT.
  • Wild Card Prize winner selection was also based on a post that embodied the spirit of #MyLifeWithAT2018.

And now, we’re thrilled to announce our winners!

Grand Prize Winner: Seth A.

Man sits on walker smiling behind table covered in DJ equipment including stacks of CDs and a turntable.

AT: Rolling Walker
My photo consists of me sitting on my rolling walker while working as a DJ. Assistive technology has given me independence in many different areas of my life. It also has allowed me to perform on my job site as a rehabilitation counselor safely and perform the essential functions of my job in a timely fashion.


Runner-Up Prize Winner: Joy P.

Woman sits in a musician's chair with a trumpet in front of her, smiling at her bandmates. The trumpet is suspended by a metal arm that extends from the seat of her chair.

AT: A device to hold my instrument (trumpet holder)
This is my (what I call) trumpet holder. I’m a professional musician with a BM in music performance from Seton Hill University who also has a diagnosis of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, and without this device I would be unable to use my talent to make a difference in people’s lives. I am co-founder of a nonprofit organization along with my twin sister called the Glass City Swing Band, which I and my twin sister both play in and manage. We also both play for nursing homes and retirement communities. What I didn’t realize is how much the both of us have made a difference in people’s lives by what we are able to do with having a physical disability. So many people have come up and mentioned to the both of us what a blessing we are and how they are encouraged by seeing us play. Without my assistive device, which by the way was made by a friend’s father who owned a machine shop, I would not be able to encourage others with my talent. It has helped enrich my life and the lives of others!


Wild Card Winner…

We couldn’t choose just one, so here are four Wild Card Winners whose photos and captions we thought captured unique stories about how assistive technology is really making a difference in their lives.


Ernie J.

Man sits at desk in power wheelchair eating food off the fork of a robotic arm positioned on the table.

AT: OBI Robotic Feeding Arm
This photo is of me using my OBI Robotic Feeding Arm. Because of my Duchenne muscular dystrophy I am unable to feed myself. This device is new on the market and is a God send. My parents put the prepared food on the partitioned plate, I push the easy touch buttons and the robotic arm dips the fork into the food, then brings it up and into my mouth. This robot helps me so much with my independence and mostly with the ability to better enjoy meals with my family and friends.


Cindy B.

Woman and man wearing aprons stand at a table preparing salsa.

AT: Two implanted spinal cord stimulators
Before I had my neurostimulators, I couldn’t stand for more than a few seconds, and could not move my arms or legs without extreme effort. This was due to severe chronic pain from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. In this photo, I am on vacation in Mexico, somewhere I never could have traveled to before. I have always wanted to become a chef, but couldn’t due to my pain. Here, I am taking a cooking class and preparing an authentic Mexican meal. This was the beginning of a dream come true, and I never could have done this without my wonderful assistive technology!


Gavin V.

Boy sits in a power wheelchair at a desk with mom next to him, looking at a computer screen on the desk next to an Amazon Echo Dot.

AT: Tobi Eye Gaze and the Amazon Echo Dot
Hi I’m Gavin. I’m a student at the HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy. I use Tobii Eye Gaze at school and at home to talk to my mom and dad, other kids and my teacher. I can use it with the Echo Dot to play music and hear jokes too.


Sam W.

Man sits in the grass with a service dog laying in front of him wearing a backpack.

AT: Service dog Clover’s gear
Here’s a picture of me and my service dog Clover reading outside the library on a nice day, using some of her gear (vest, leash, etc.) The library is the first place I was able to go alone with Clover when my doctor and I started working on me being able to go places by myself. I can even walk there and walk home now and it’s about a mile away from my house by a busy road.
Having the right equipment to use with Clover allows me to be the most independent. For instance, I just got her a backpack. Now she carries things like her potty bags, my medications, her treats and usually enough food for one meal for her, an extra cell phone charger, and other things I might need. I’ll keep it packed and hanging in the same spot so that when I am getting myself ready to go out I don’t have to think about all of the things I need to pack to feel prepared to be somewhere alone.



While the panel felt the winning entries most exemplified the spirit of #MyLifeWithAT2018 through their images and captions, all of the entries were valuable glimpses into each individual’s life, showing the important role assistive technology plays. Take a look at the other entries below:


And visit #MyLifeWithAT2018 to view the photos that were shared on Instagram.

Thank you to all who participated, both by entering and by voting! We’re looking forward to seeing what you’re doing with your assistive technology next year!


Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation is dedicated to helping people with disabilities and older Pennsylvanians acquire the assistive technology they want and need. If you’re having trouble determining how to fund your assistive technology, contact us – we can help you explore your options and find a funding solution.