ATECH is excited to announce that we have been named as a Connecticut Tech Act Project Partner Agency. The Connecticut Tech Act Project (CTTAP) is a project operating out of the State of Connecticut, Department of Aging and Disability Services. CTTAP’s main focus is establishing programs throughout Connecticut that educate and provide access to assistive technology for individuals with disabilities.
AT Tech Act Program History
Congress originally passed the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act, later referred to as the “Tech Act,” in 1988. The Tech Act was reauthorized by congress in subsequent years, at which point it was renamed the Assistive Technology Act. The Tech Act authorized funding to support assistive technology education and access. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and four territories now have state grant projects.
State Assistive Technology (AT) Programs serve individuals with any type of disability, of any age, and in any environment. This includes early intervention programs, K-12 and post-secondary educational support, vocational rehabilitation, community living, and support for aging services, among others.
In addition to supporting individuals with disabilities, AT Tech Act Programs also serve family members, service providers, educators, and therapists. Over the years, the program target recipients have been expanded to include manufacturers and sellers of assistive technology devices, allied health professionals, small businesses, technology experts, web designers, and employment and training services providers.
In 2004, amendments made to the AT Act produced significant program changes and requirements. From an agency perspective, one of the biggest changes was that the program changed to a state “formula grant” funding program, meaning a formula determines the amount of funds each state receives from the Federal government. The US Department of Education (DOE), National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), had originally been the administering agency, but in 2004, the program oversight responsibility was moved to the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA).
State AT Projects are required to establish four state-level activities, including:
- Assistive Technology Demonstration
- Assistive Technology Device Loan Program
- Assistive Technology Reutilization Program (also known as recycling)
- Alternate Financing Program
The Connecticut Tech Act Project has established these programs in a number of different ways, including by partnering with agencies in the community, now including ATECH. We are excited to join the ranks of our fellow partner agencies.
As CTTAP’s mission is to increase independence and improve the lives of individuals with disabilities through increased access to assistive technology, the Project leadership has forged relationships with institutions across the state. ATECH is excited to be named as a partner resource for families and agencies seeking assistive technology for use in work, school and community living.
If you’re interested in learning more about assistive technology or the CT Tech Act Partner program, please contact us!