It’s AT Awareness Day, April 14, 2021
On April 14, 2021, National Assistive Technology Awareness Day will celebrate and bring attention to the critical role that assistive technology (AT) plays in the lives of people with disabilities. The day will also recognize and commemorate AT specialists and program coordinators for their hard work and dedication to serving individuals with disabilities seeking proper AT to meet their individual needs, along with professional organizations and researchers dedicated to facilitating the access and acquisition of AT for individuals with disabilities and older adults.

Assistive technology, defined in the Assistive Technology Act (P.L. 105-394), is any item, piece of equipment, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities and older adults. Assistive technology provides people with disabilities the option to access education and the workplace, to live within their communities, and enjoy recreational activities. 

"ATP has a lot to celebrate! Join us by exploring our programs and services that have helped ATP deliver technology to Nebraskans with disabilities for more than 31 years! Contact any of my staff if you have questions or need more information."
Tobias J. Orr, Director, tobias.orr@nebraska.gov
Home
Home modifications are appropriate accommodations and modifications within the primary residence occupied by a person with a disability. These modifications enable individuals to function more independently in their home and are necessary to continue to live in their home.

Modifications include grab bars in the bathroom and entrance modifications for accessibility in and out of the residence. 

Assistive technology may also be needed, such as automatic door openers, stair lifts, and vehicle modifications.

During a year more than 572 projects were completed, including modifications for:
  • Vehicles 68
  • Entrances 192
  • Bathrooms 209
  • Other projects include kitchens, environmental controls and adaptive equipment 103

May Faith, ATP Program Supervisor

Contractors are needed to bid and complete projects year round to help us serve Nebraskans with disabilities.

Plans are provided for ramps, accessible showers, door widening, grab bars, and railings.

If you are interested in expanding your business, contact Liz to be an approved contractor.

Liz Lohse 531-207-2418  liz.lohse@nebraska.gov
Education
The Assistive Technology Partnership Education (ATP/Ed) Program provides statewide services to IFSP and IEP team members working with children and students with disabilities birth to 21 who are receiving services within school systems. All decisions related to assistive technology services and devices are made by the IFSP/IEP team.

Request Support

Brian Wojcik, Education Program Supervisor

Special Education Accessibility

The Assistive Technology Partnership (ATP) is a partner with the Nebraska Department of Education, helping Nebraska schools (Pre-K-12) identify modifications that meet the needs of their special education students and the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The goal of finding customized solutions that help students be independent and at the same time integrate into the existing facility can take some exploration.
 
ADA school consultations occur on an as needed basis. During the coronavirus pandemic, electronic reviews & phone discussions of proposed access projects are happening using shared digital materials dependent on the specific project nature.

Lilly Blase, ADA Specialist

Several webinar series are offered monthly on behalf of the U.S. Access Board & ADA National Network on topics related to ADA facilities, ADA accommodations, ADA legal news, assistive technology, and accessible information technology.
Brooke Harrie, Program Supervisor
Employment
ATP partners closely with the state’s employment program for people with disabilities, Nebraska VR. The agency works with individuals with disabilities to help them prepare for, get and keep jobs.  

ATP can assist individuals in this program with getting the assistive devices they need to be as independent, safe, and successful as possible in their careers despite barriers they face due to a disability.
 
Watch these videos to see how real people with disabilities have worked with Nebraska VR to reach their employment goals!
Funding Resources
Funding for the cost of home modifications, technology, or services needed by consumers who experience a disability are provided by numerous programs. The guidelines and eligibility requirements of those programs vary widely and are often overlooked as potential resources for those who are unfamiliar with how to access them.

ATP uses a Service and Device Application (S&D). Individuals specify what assistive technology and modifications they need. The Assistive Technology Partnership’s Resource Specialist researches the various programs across the state to determine a person’s potential eligibility for funding assistance. The S&D is a multi-agency helping funding resources to be identified and pursued.

Angie Ransom, Resource Specialist

Two ways to learn more
  1. Register for the webinar Technology Funding Options April 21, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
  2. Watch the video below about assistive technology and how to obtain it
The National Deaf Blind Equipment Distribution Program, also known as iCanConnect, is a federally funded program coordinated by ATP in Nebraska. If you have significant combined vision and hearing loss and meet federal income guidelines, iCanConnect can provide telecommunication equipment and training to stay connected with family and friends.

iCanConnect is available in every state and can provide eligible individuals with equipment to help them make a phone call or send an email such as a smart phone, amplified landline phone, signaling device, computer/laptop, magnification and/or screen reading software, iPad/tablet, braille displays, etc. Training can also be provided on how to use the device.  If you or someone you know could benefit from this program visit ATP's website or www.icanconnect.org
 
Equipment Reuse
Reuse is the term used to refer to recycled, reused, or repaired durable medical equipment (DME), adapted devices, or assistive technology.

A consumer in central Nebraska was referred to ATP for assistance. The consumer was struggling to find an affordable heavy duty mobility scooter.The consumer wanted to live more independently by accessing his laundry room and going shopping. He had explored Facebook Marketplace and contacted DME vendors and was not successful in getting what he needed.

ATP's initial response was to coordinate with the consumer on measurements to determine what size of device would work in their space and transportation options were explored once a solution was identified. After a match of a donated device was completed (see photo above), a friend of the consumer who lives in Lincoln was able to deliver the equipment. The friend said: "The equipment has increased his mobility and independence. He is more active (he experiences diabetes) and is able to visit nearby relatives.

This past year 60 individuals benefited from equipment reuse. Donations are always welcome and are needed to fill the equipment gaps in our state. Visit at4all.com to donate items and search for equipment you need.

Steve Miller, Equipment Loans, Reuse and Donations
Classified ad from newspaper
ATP is hiring an Accounting Associate