The AT Act describes state financing activities as activities that increase “access to, and funding for, assistive technology devices and assistive technology services (which shall not include direct payment for such a device or service for an individual with a disability but may include support and administration of a program to provide such payment), including development of systems to provide and pay for such devices and services, for targeted individuals and entities”. States may operate financial loan programs, administer “last resort” funds, support device distribution programs (e.g. adapted smoke alarms, telecommunications devices), develop programs that fabricate affordable customized devices or administer cooperative buying programs that provide discounts to increase the affordability of the AT.
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Although the AT Act does not include a formal definition of device reutilization programs, the Act describes reutilization programs as programs that provide for the exchange, repair, recycling or other reutilization of assistive technology devices, which may include redistribution through device sales, loans, rentals or donations, carried out either directly or in collaboration with public or private entities (Section 4(e)(2)(B)). State programs may implement activities that accept devices (usually by donation) into an inventory, sanitize and/or refurbish as needed, and then provide them (often at no cost) to people with disabilities in need of the items, and/or operate a “classifieds” or “exchange” where they make available listings of AT for sale or donation that can connect buyers and sellers. Reutilization programs are solutions for individuals with disabilities who need items public sources will not pay for (including back up devices); who need a device that is no longer manufactured; or who have an acute need for a device while they pursue or wait for funding. Reutilization programs include (1) refurbishment programs, where donated devices are cleaned up, sanitized, repaired or otherwise “made ready” for new owners, (2) exchange programs, where individuals with devices to sell or donate advertise the device, and individuals in need of a device can look to see if the device they need is available and then contact the donor/seller to make the arrangements for sale and transfer of the device, (3) open-ended loans where the consumer can continue to use the item until no longer needed.
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