Innovative Program Ideas


Community Living

The North Carolina Assistive Technology Program (NCATP) received a high-impact technology grant from the Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation in 2018. These funds have been used to establish the NC RAMMP (Ramp Access Makes Mobile People) program, providing temporary portable ramps for individuals impacted by medical conditions or natural disasters. Policies, procedures, and leveraged funding have been developed ensuring the RAMMP program will continue following the one-year grant funding.

Health Care

Michigan AT Program staff worked with people in the mental health recovery community to provide technical assistance on how to include AT in their recovery work. Staff assisted in creating a short video on the importance of AT and other supports for people in recovery. AT staff engaged in a general discussion on threats to funding of supports for non-Medicaid-eligible persons with severe mental illness and substance abuse issues and the importance of AT.

Employment

Over this past year, Assistive Technology Program of Colorado (ATP) has worked tirelessly in meetings with the state’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) to establish a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding shared responsibilities and priorities around AT. The AT Program and the DVR have a renewed formal relationship and will work together to offer education to DVR counselors. The AT Program has already received increased referrals for clients needing AT assessments and device demonstrations as well as requests for training.

The MOU outlines the process of referral for AT services and the responsibilities of both agencies to provide information and resources around AT with regard to device demonstrations, device loans, alternate financing, training, technical assistance, and information and referral. DVR will continue to serve on the AT Coalition, sit on the advisory board for the Colorado Technology Act Program, and collaborate with the AT Program.

Education & Transition

The Illinois Assistive Technology Program (IATP) introduced legislation to address how AT is incorporated into students’ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). One bill requires that parents and guardians of students with IEPs will be informed about the availability of AT. If the IEP team determines the student does not need AT, parents will be given notification in writing of why that determination was made. They will also be given information about the IATP, including contact information. Additionally, the Illinois State Board of Education is developing guidance on how local districts can record unsuccessful AT trials in the IEP to inform future trials and exploration and support quality AT considerations.

Information and Communication Technology Accessibility

Oklahoma ABLE Tech provides training and technical assistance on the accessibility of electronic and information technology (EIT) to all Oklahoma state agencies, higher education institutions, and the state’s Career and Technology Education system. With the recent changes to federal EIT standards, Oklahoma had to revise its state EIT standards to be in compliance. ABLE Tech worked closely with the Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services to revise Oklahoma’s EIT standards to meet the latest national guidelines for accessibility.

Voting Accessibility

In collaboration with the Protection & Advocacy for Voter Access Program, the Wyoming AT Program hosted a training on voting and accessibility. The training provided information on voting rights for individuals with disabilities, and hands-on training on two voting machines that are used throughout Wyoming. Also demonstrated were AT devices used in the voting booth.

Aging

Due to demographic shifts, the Florida AT program adjusted its service delivery model to focus more on delivering services to an aging population. The staff developed senior kits for each Regional Demonstration Center to provide device loans, demonstrations, trainings, and public awareness activities. A wide range of devices are included in the kit, such as rescue and locate devices, home automation units, medication reminders, and simple vehicle modifications.