At last November's Abilities Expo in San Jose, PNP blogger, Franklin Elieh, came across Ability Tools, California's Assistive Technology (AT) Act Program. Ability Tools is made possible through funding from the Department of Rehabilitation, financed by the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration with funds allocated by the Assistive Technology Act of 2004.
They provide a variety of services for Californians with disabilities of all ages, including:
- AT Exchange marketplace
- Device Lending Libraries
- Financial loan program for assistive technology
- Information & Referral
- Reuse program in affiliation with organizational partners
Currently, Ability Tools is one of 56 Assistive Technology Act funded programs; one exists in each state and U.S. territory. They work with multiple partners, including device lending libraries, reuse centers, AT centers, Independent Living Centers, and their membership to advance the use of AT for Californians.
Assistive Technology helps people with disabilities live, work, learn and play as independently as possible. AT includes low-tech items like a reacher or a magnifying glass or high-tech equipment like tablet apps, or systems that allow you to control your computer with your eyes. For communication, learning, playing, to get around, working, chances are there is an AT solution for you.
Their online portal allows one to check out their inventory of equipment to borrow or sell devices, or even find low-cost or free devices.
If you've been searching for a device to try out, this is one organization that you would definitely want to check out.