Stories From the Field

Device Demonstrations

Ken: Choosing the Right UTV

Ken learning about UTV

Ken, a farmer in western Kansas who is a double lower leg amputee, needed to figure out what utility vehicle (UTV) would work for him so he could continue to spray weeds on his farm, check fence line, and monitor his livestock. Assistive Technology for Kansans (ATK) staff wanted to demonstrate multiple UTVs without requiring Ken to make trips to different vendors.

ATK staff organized an event with commercial dealers of four different types of UTVs. At the event, ATK staff and Ken compared features of the different vehicles, their load beds, and spraying options. This information will be part of the recommendations to Ken’s vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselor.

Six other ATK customers, four VR counselors, a VR regional manager, and 50 community members attended the event, along with 11 vendors from four states. Several vendors noted that this opened a new market for them as they learned to discuss features of their products that are relevant to people with disabilities. One presenter told ATK staff that having the support of the sign language interpreters helped him interact with all members of his audience.

Device Loans

Emma and the Double Robot

Emma learning in the class room

Emma is a 13-year-old who is not able to attend her local public school and interact with her peers because of her disability. Bartlesville Public Schools (BPS) borrowed the Double Robot from Oklahoma ABLE Tech. The robot is a telepresence tool that allowed Emma to have access to the classroom and her peers while at home.

The Double Robot enabled Emma to attend and participate fully in her core classes and receive live instruction. It has been so well received that BPS Foundation submitted a grant proposal to pilot a Double Robot for the next school year.

Device Reutilization

Luis Finds the Right Walker

Luis with walker

Luis is a 7-year-old boy who underwent surgery due to his motor disabilities. He was discharged from the hospital in a wheelchair. After several weeks, his doctor authorized him to walk again using a mobility device to help maintain stability.

Luis’ parents contacted the Puerto Rico AT Program (PRATP) to inquire about a walker that would fit his particular needs. They could not afford to buy the options offered by suppliers. Through PRATP’s AT reuse program, Luis was fitted with a walker appropriate for his size and needs.

As soon as the fitting was finished, Luis started walking with the device and he did not let it go for the duration of the service. When he left, he was happy getting around with his walker and PRATP staffers were overjoyed to see him moving again.

State Financing

Cutler Shares His Words

Cutler working with a device

Cutler received his device through the AT reimbursement program that provides supplemental funding for schools to purchase AT needed by students. Cutler quickly learned how to independently navigate his device installed with the Prologue2Go app. He wasted no time adding phrases to help him express his thoughts.

His device helped Cutler shine as a writer. He is now completing worksheets he previously didn’t do and proudly displaying his work along with his classmates’ in the hallway. Cutler’s parents and educators report that he made gains this year that would not have been possible without this assistive technology.