Alert
Close

Top the Treasure Hunt leaderboard by 5 p.m. Friday to win a $100 gift card! Learn more

Giving Back

AARP Foundation

Help AARP Foundation win back opportunity for struggling Americans age 50 and over. Eighty-seven cents of every dollar spent goes directly to life-changing programs and services. Do

MOST POPULAR

Viewed

SC Andrus Award Winner Doesn’t Slow Down

At a time when most people slow down to enjoy their “golden years,” Phil Atkinson has dedicated his time to helping people with disabilities providing him with energy seldom seen in those 30 years younger. AARP South Carolina is pleased to recognize him as the recipient of the 2011 Andrus Award for Community Service.

See Also: Award Named for AARP Founder

After retiring from a 42-year career in 1989 as an engineer and program manager at Westinghouse’s Defense and Electronics Center in Baltimore and moved to Saluda, SC. In 2001, formed Enabling Technology Associates – EnableTech, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing independence to those with disabilities through the design and application of innovative assistance technology.

EnableTech’s goal is to provide people with disabilities with assistive devices that will allow them to maintain as high a level of independence as possible. With EnableTech’s aid, many of his clients are able to remain independent and in their own homes.

In South Carolina, Atkinson has put together a diverse network of volunteers including scientists, engineers, and fabricators that design and provide free of charge, specialized assistive technology to allow persons with disabilities to achieve as much independence as possible and improve their quality of life. Additional volunteers come from businesses and industries, universities, medical organizations, human service agencies and the retirement community.

Since 2001, EnableTech has responded to over 127 requests for help, ranging from those as simple as identifying a suitable commercial device and modifying it to meet the needs of the individual, to those of much greater complexity. Typical complex challenges involving custom designs have included an elevator for home installation, a crib to provide a mother in a wheelchair safe access to her baby, and a vehicle that allowed a quadriplegic to continue to train dogs to heard sheep and cattle.

EnableTech provides its service free of charge and is supported by grants, donations of money and materials, and for the most Atkinson himself. He is a master at recycling and is always on the lookout for things and volunteers that might be useful for projects.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discount & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Regal Cinemas movie theater

Members pay $8 for Regal ePremiere tickets online. Conditions apply.

Grandmother and granddaughter working on scrap book at home

Members save 10% at Michaels every day with their AARP membership card.

Woman trying on glasses in optometrists shop

Members save up to 60% on eye exams with AARP® Vision Discounts provided by EyeMed.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Being Social

Community Volunteers

Honor Our Soldiers

Stop by to recognize those who have served our country, past and present. Discuss