Bay Area residents and music fans everywhere are familiar with the Bridge School Benefit concert, an annual, star-studded charity event organized by musician Neil Young.

While the concert's headliners might get most of the press attention, The Bridge School itself is doing amazing work through assistive technology. The nonprofit helps children with severe physical impairments and complex communication needs.

TechSoup was thrilled to have The Bridge School director, Dr. Vicki Casella, as a guest speaker for its SharingSoup program.  

SharingSoup was started by Cody Greenly, an account management specialist at TechSoup. Previous guests include the Mira Scholars Foundation and She Is Safe. It is an excellent opportunity for TechSoup members to share their story and talk about their technology needs and desires.      

"SharingSoup came out of a desire to get a more personal look at the work of the organizations we interact with," Cody explained. 

Dr. Casella, who has worked in special education for 50 years, discussed the different kinds of technology The Bridge School uses with its students. The goal of the program is to develop a sense of independence within the students by giving them as many tools as they need.

With advanced technology, the students are empowered with mobility, education, and communication.

The Bridge School's work and research has global reach. Every summer, the organization holds a teacher in residence program with participants from all over the world.

The teachers take what they've learned at The Bridge School and disseminate it via trainings and workshops in their own countries. The teachers and specialists also publish research and findings on The Bridge School website.

With all the work The Bridge School does, it was surprising to learn how small the staff is. In order to do global-reaching work, the organization relies on a strong technology foundation. Through TechSoup, The Bridge School can get donated products from companies like Microsoft, Adobe, and Cisco.

For example, The Bridge School uses Microsoft Office on their assistive devices. They use PowerPoint to create touch-friendly books for their students. Watch the video below for more on how The Bridge School uses donated technology to empower their students:

Video by Ale Bezdikian 

Ginny Mies is a Content Curator at TechSoup Global.