Feb. 25, 2003 --
In the conference report for the FY 2003 omnibus spending bill, access advocates were thrilled to discover that is the Assistive Technology Act had once again escaped the ax. Advocates had worried last spring that state assisstive technology programs will not be funded in the FY 2003 budget. The projects now appear safe until September 30, 2003. .
The Assistive Technology Act of 1998 is the major legislation involving assistive technology. The "Tech Act," as it is sometimes called, funds state programs designed to address the assistive technology needs of individuals with disabilities. "Assistive Technology" -- AT -- is defined under the Act as "any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of an individual with a disability."
Many states' AT projects get funding both through the Assistive Technology Act and from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. You can learn more about your state's AT project from NCDDR at http://www.ncddr.org/relativeact/statetech/ More information about the Assistive Technology Act is available from the National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research at http://www.ncddr.org/relativeact/statetech/ata98.html Another good source of information on NIDRR's AT projects is at http://www.assistivetech.net/webresources/techActProjects.cfm -- there's also a good overview of assistive technology from NC State University at http://www.ncsu.edu/it/dss/
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