Foundation’s mission is to link seniors and people with disabilities with technology to enhance their lives; Selfhelp Community Services is First Grant Recipient
ARLINGTON, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–June 27, 2012 – The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® today announced the launch of its charitable supporting organization, the CEA Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to link seniors and people with disabilities with technology to enhance their lives. The leadership of the CEA Foundation includes Audiovox Founder John Shalam, who serves as chairman of the CEA Foundation, Larry Richenstein, vice chairman, and Veronica O’Connell, secretary and treasurer.
In other news, the CEA Foundation announced today that Selfhelp Community Services, Inc. (Selfhelp), an eldercare service organization based in New York City, is its first grantee. Selfhelp’s Virtual Senior Center (VSC) enhances the lives of homebound seniors by using computer, video and Internet technology in seniors’ homes and at local senior centers to create an interactive experience that reduces social isolation, promotes wellness, and provides better access to community services.
“The goal of the CEA Foundation is to use our considerable resources and access to technology to bring that technology to people who would otherwise never get to use it,” said John Shalam, founder of Audiovox Corporation (now VOXX International Corporation) and chairman of the board. “This first grant to Selfhelp’s Virtual Senior Center will offer the homebound visual contact with the outside world without ever having to leave their homes, which many of them can’t. Anyone who has ever cared for a shut-in knows the single worse aspect of age or disability is often the loneliness it causes – and I can attest to that from personal experience.
“Selfhelp is an important first program for us as it allows an innovative use of consumer electronics to support seniors through social interaction while allowing them to remain in their homes,” Shalam continued.
“We are delighted that the CEA Foundation has selected Selfhelp’s Virtual Senior Center as its first ever grant recipient,” said Leo M. Asen, vice president of senior communities, Selfhelp Community Services Inc. “With CEA’s insights and expertise, we are confident that the expansion of the Virtual Senior Center will allow more homebound seniors to re-connect with friends, classes, far-away family members – in essence to re-connect with life. Our collaborative research suggests technology may help blunt the colossal emotional, physical and financial costs of isolation that tens of thousands of seniors deal with on a daily basis. In this light technology may indeed help reshape the very concept of aging as we know it.”
The CEA Foundation and Selfhelp plan to identify two locations in New York City to expand activities currently run at the Benjamin Rosenthal-Prince Street Senior Center. During the implementation of these two additional locations, a replication guide will be created in order to bring the Virtual Senior Center project to scale in multiple cities across the country.
“CEA Foundation’s astute recognition of the potential benefits of technology for seniors holds promise for every one of us who worries about the health, independence and quality of life for aging parents or other loved ones,” added Asen.
According to the U.S. Census, in 2010 there were over 40 million people age 65 or older that were living in the United States. This figure is expected to grow to more than 88 million, or 20 percent of the population, by 2050.
Note to media: Reporters interested in interviewing David Dring, administrator, technology services, Selfhelp Community Services, or one of the seniors currently participating in the Virtual Senior Center, should contact: MJ Wyatt/Selfhelp, 212-661-9610 or 646-639-4226, firstname.lastname@example.org. Those interested in contacting CEA about its foundation should contact Tara Dunion, at email@example.com, 703-907-7419.
About CEA Foundation:
The CEA Foundation is a charitable supporting organization of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). It was established with the mission to link seniors and people with disabilities with technologies to enhance their lives. The Foundation is launching its first series of grants to support its mission in 2012. For more information on the CEA Foundation please visit www.ceafoundation.org.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $190 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online: www.CE.org and www.DeclareInnovation.com. Follow CES at www.CESweb.org and through social media: https://www.facebook.com/#!/CEAfeed, http://twitter.com/ceafeed, http://blog.ce.org/.
About Selfhelp Community Services:
Selfhelp Community Services, Inc., was founded 76 years ago to be the source of independent living for victims of the Holocaust. Today Selfhelp provides affordable housing, home care, senior centers, case management, financial and legal assistance, guardianship and Nazi Victim Services to more than 20,000 seniors and at-risk individuals throughout the boroughs of New York City and Long Island.
Selfhelp’s unique Virtual Senior Center offers easy-to-use, advanced technology to connect homebound seniors with a wide range of classes, entertainment, and internet access that enables them to stay in touch with friends and far-away family members, take part in virtual museum tours/discussions, exercise programs and more. Selfhelp’s facilities, programs and philosophy of living independently with dignity are part of a progressive model constantly refined to address the needs of a changing society. Visit us at www.selfhelp.net.