August 17, 2016


Training and advocacy for adults living with disabilities

Student at EmpowerTechLos Angeles-based EmpowerTech embodies two of the Apex Foundation’s favorite things: helping people achieve self-sufficiency and technology. One of our many Apex Foundation charities, EmpowerTech is devoted to empowering chil­dren and adults  living with disabilities by making the latest in assistive technology avail­able to them.

EmpowerTech says it best:

Until recently, simple life tasks such as banking, shopping, finding meaningful work – even sending an e-mail or exploring the universe of informa­tion available on the web – were truly unimaginable for many disabled persons. EmpowerTech’s training programs and advocacy efforts open these and other wondrous doors  for the life enrichment, enhanced employment and greater independence of our students,” as quoted on

Karen Kuranz of the Apex Foundation visited EmpowerTech in Febru­ary and shared her experience below:

“My first impression upon arriving at EmpowerTech was of a very seri­ous and professional organization. The various work stations, meeting rooms, and community space reminded me of my own work experience. The training process seemed orderly and exacting.

The second thing that struck me was the comradery of the staff and students. While each student knew he or she was there to learn, there was loving rapport between both groups and lots of laughs and reinforcement.

The staff at EmpowerTech is exceptional, starting with Joan Elaine Anderson, who is the Execu­tive Director. She is a powerhouse and clearly knows what she wants to accomplish. She has an easy but respectful relationship with her colleagues and a visible love for the students. Her colleagues are themselves dedicated and reassuring.

Karen with EmpowerTech staff

Joan Elaine gave me a tour of the facility and then placed me in the hands of two of her capable colleagues. Rickell Lewis is the TRADE Program Assistant Instructor and explained the general process of triaging students to use computers in the pursuit of employment. I watched several students as they navigated their way through various computer programs. Next, I met with Ismael Herrera who is the Blind and Low Vision Services Director. Ismael is visually impaired himself and uses his knowledge of the challenges facing those with partial or complete blindness to train all of his students. He is compassionate, articulate, and extremely accomplished in the Assistive Technology field.

After my tour I gathered with staff and students as they took their morning break. We introduced ourselves, laughed, and took group pictures. Then Joan Elaine and I met privately in her office and discussed various aspects of Assistive Technology, Apex Foundation as well as her history with EmpoverTech. While the organization has solid support, Joan Elaine is very thankful for ours and assured me that every donation is critical to the success of the EmpowerTech program.

I left EmpowerTech with a happy heart. I encourage you to visit EmpowerTech if you are in the Los Angeles area.”

Technology opens wondrous doors for us all and is a powerful tool in helping people of all ages and abilities reach their fullest potential. Apex Foundation is proud to support EmpowerTech.

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