As part of the #UpgradeYourWorld initiative, Windows was honored to partner with Team Gleason to host an intimate fireside chat with former NFL athlete and ALS advocate Steve Gleason in advance of the film debut of GLEASON at SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas. The film, which initially premiered at Sundance Film Festival, is a feature-length documentary film celebrating the journey of Steve Gleason – NFL hero, ALS fighter, champion father.
The discussion, moderated by Olivia Sterns, tech and business correspondent for NBC and MSNBC, took place Friday, March 11th and focused on the integral role technology plays in Gleason’s life.
Through the use of his Microsoft Surface Pro 3 transitioning to a Pro 4, Steve continues to live life to the fullest – as a father, husband and friend. Steve has been working with Microsoft since 2014 to help develop life-changing technology, specifically as it relates to talking using eye gazing software. Microsoft continues to support Steve and Team Gleason’s ongoing commitment to develop the best possible technology that is affordable, accessible and easy to use for those battling ALS.
“For two years, I had been challenging tech companies, engineers and innovative leaders to help advance assistive communication devices. Microsoft was the only company who stepped forward and was eager to deeply understand the needs of those who utilize technology as an extension of themselves. The company committed time, money, and talent to not only enhance the Surface Pro beyond its expectations, but went above and beyond to integrate controls for my power chair, allowing me to regain much more independence. The process has been as exciting as it has been liberating.”— Steve Gleason
Earlier this year, Team Gleason was chosen as one of the local nonprofits to be featured in #UpgradeYourWorld. One of the organization’s primary focus areas is to help provide individuals with neuromuscular diseases or injuries with leading edge technology, equipment and services. Steve has always said ‘until there is a medical cure for ALS, technology can be that cure.’ The focus of Team Gleason has always been to upgrade the world through the use of technology.
For more information about Steve and Team Gleason, visit www.teamgleason.org. If you would like to learn more about the technology, please contact Microsoft’s Disability Answer Desk (DAD) which is dedicated to working with customers with disabilities. You can also learn more here and here. For more information about Upgrade Your World, go here.