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Have a disability? Keep working with assistive technology! In recognition of National Disability Employment Month and Blindness Awareness Month, AT3 Center shares this success story from the Illinois AT Act Program (IATP).
John was crushed when he learned there was nothing more that could be done for his vision. For 40 years, he has worked as a registered nurse, a job that requires reading medical charts as he prepares patients for surgery.
Born with partial facial paralysis, John cannot close one eye on its own and over time his vision in both eyes has deteriorated. His eye doctor informed him that his prognosis was not good and that the prescription strength of his glasses had reached their maximum benefit.
Thanks to the Assistive Technology Act of 2004, every state and territory has an Assistive Technology Act Program, and a place to go to see and learn about devices that can make a difference for individuals of all ages and disabilities. AT Act Programs provide this service free of charge, and offer short-term loans of equipment to try at home (or work or school) for free or a nominal fee. Anyone can borrow equipment to fill a short-term need or find out if a device works for them before making a purchase.
John came to the IATP Demonstration Center in Springfield which includes a kitchen with accessible cabinets and cooking aids, a bedroom with a hospital bed and lift chair, an accessible bathroom, technology for environmental control, and technology for accessing computers. There are also areas for different categories of disabilities, including a section with communication devices and accessories; a section with hearing devices such as amplified phones and signaling devices; a section with mobility, seating, and positioning devices; and–most significant for John–a vision section.
After trying different devices, John obtained special software for his computer, a camera that can project the image of documents on a larger computer screen, and a big keys keyboard for his job at the hospital.
Today, John continues preparing patients for surgery with equipment acquired following his device trial. In a letter of thanks he wrote to IATP staff, he says the help he’d received was a blessing and the hope he came away with was a feeling he’d not had in years.
The AT3 Center, the Association of AT Act Programs (ATAP), and the Administration on Community Living (ACL) make no endorsement, representation, or warranty expressed or implied for any product, device, or information set forth in this blog. The AT3 Center, ATAP, and ACL have not examined, reviewed, or tested any product or device hereto referred.
The Assistive Technology Act Technical Assistance and Training Center (AT3 Center) is a project funded under grant award #90ATT0003 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living (ACL). The AT3 Center provides technical assistance and support to AT Act Programs funded under Section 4 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended (P.L. 108-364). The AT3 Center is a sponsored project of the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs (ATAP). The information on this website does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of ACL, and no official endorsement should be inferred.
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