The Assistive Technology Act was first passed by Congress and signed by the President as the Technology-Related Assistance Act of 1988. It’s often called the Tech Act for short and has been reauthorized in 1994, 1998, and 2004. The most current version of the Act is authorized through 2010.
The Tech Act is intended to promote people’s awareness of, and access to, assistive technology (AT) devices and services. The Act seeks to provide AT to persons with disabilities, so they can more fully participate in education, employment, and daily activities on a level playing field with other members of their communities. The Act covers people with disabilities of all ages, all disabilities, in all environments (early intervention, K-12, post-secondary, vocational rehabilitation, community living, aging services, etc.).You can also find summaries of the law on their fantastic website. I could try to fully explain how AT Loan Centers work, but I'd rather show you this neat video the kind folks with the PACER center in Minnesota put together.
Besides lending equipment, we also provide other services. One valuable service we provide is helping people understand the process for getting AT. A lot of people still think they are supposed to just go figure it out on their own. We help everyone-- consumers, clinicians, practitioners, educators, parents, caregivers, and anyone who wants to know-- understand the process for getting the stuff and getting it funded. We also provide information on alternative funding options for AT for those times when insurance can't or won't cover what's needed.
So if you or someone else needs AT and you haven't the foggiest place to start, you can always ask me and I'll help you as best as I can. I will also try to get you in contact with your state's Tech Act group, so they can give you help more specific to your state. You can also find your own state's Tech Act group info from the listing at http://www.resnaprojects.org/allcontacts/statewidecontacts.html.
Now in keeping with spirit of the holidays, I'm going to have some more egg nog and leave you with some video cheer in the form of Buddy the Elf.
Happy Holidays everyone!