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Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative

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Volume 12, No 1: Winter 2004

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What's Inside...Winter 2004 Issue

Governor Creates Commission on Community-Based Alternatives for Individuals with Disabilities
Monday, September 22, 2003 was a significant day for the disability movement: Governor Ruth Ann Minner signed Executive Order 50, creating the Commission on Community-Based Alternatives for Individuals with Disabilities. The Governor made the announcement before attendees at the Annual State Council for Persons with Disabilities luncheon.

Low-Interest AT Loan Programs Seek Start-Up Funds
In late September 2003, the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) awarded Delaware $1.32 million to develop low-interest assistive technology and telework loan programs. As many of you know, some types of AT, such as home and vehicle modifications and hearing aids, are not covered by private and public health insurers because the devices are not regarded as "medically necessary." The AT Loan Program will enable persons with disabilities and their families to obtain these types of AT devices and others.

DATI Sponsors Upcoming IntelliTalk II Workshop
When: March 25-26, 2004, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Web Accessibility Contest Announced
The Mid-Atlantic Consortium on Accessible Information Technology in Education announces its first annual Website Accessibility Contest. K-12 schools in Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania are invited to submit their Websites for consideration.

Freedom Center Named Delaware’s ADA Resource Center
On October 1, 2003, the Freedom Center announced that it has been named Delaware's resource center on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Freedom Center, a consumer-driven organization, is committed to promoting independent living options for individuals with disabilities.

Home Modifications: Essential but Difficult to Fund
It has been nearly four years since the Supreme Court affirmed in Olmstead that states have an obligation under the Americans with Disabilities Act to provide services for people with disabilities in the least restrictive environment. Many states have at least one of their feet on the community integration bandwagon, although many gaps in the service continuum remain.

Language Line Services LogoDATI Employs Language Line Services
With the number of non-English speaking residents growing in Delaware, the DATI has employed the use of Language Line Services. These services provide translation assistance to residents who do not speak English and wish to contact the DATI. There is no cost to our customers for these services.

Vehicle Modifications Provide Independence
People love the flexibility of personal motor vehicles to travel where and when they want without having to schedule in advance or wait at bus stops. Persons with disabilities need the flexibility of motor vehicle transportation as much as anyone else; however, they may require vehicle modifications to accommodate their needs. Today, there are a number of adaptive equipment selections designed for vehicle access, steering, secondary controls, brake/accelerator systems, safety, and driver position needs.

The Assistive Technology Bargain Basement
Seasons greetings everyone, and welcome to the holiday edition of the AT Bargain Basement. For those of you who are new to this column, this is where I, your humble AT Specialist, give you the info on some great assistive technology that is available for under $100 and is usually found in local area stores.

LifeWise Pillbox TimerVisual Assistant Keeps Users on Task
Visual Assistant by AbleLink Technologies is a customizable, multimedia software application that runs on Windows CE palmtop computers. It was designed to help individuals with mental retardation and other cognitive impairments learn and maintain skills in a self-directed format. The software may be used in a variety of settings including home, school, and workplace.

ECUs Put Control at Your Fingertips
For some folks, having the ability to automate the control of their living environment is a convenience; for others, it is a necessity. In this article, I will cover some of the technology available to help make a home (or office) more accessible. There are dozens of options available that may truly help—many at a reasonable cost.