|Success! The incredible true life adventure of one state AT Advisory Council member and his ATIA video contest victory
|For Peter G., assistive technology
offers people with disabilities a game-winning Hail Mary pass; the
problem is that more people need the chance to get in that end zone|
|In 1988, Peter G. became disabled and had to withdraw from Bates College six weeks before his expected graduation. For the next eleven years, homebound and in bed, Pete relied on his parents for most of his needs, and experienced profound social isolation. As an avid sports fan, he said, "It felt like the game was over." That was before he learned about assistive technology. This past October, Pete won the AT Industry Association's AT video YouTube contest. His video, "My Assistive Technology (AT) Success Story," includes a reference to Doug Flutie throwing a Hail Mary pass from the 48 yard line. "This game is over," declares the announcer, before erupting, astonished, at Boston College's unexpected win. That moment, Pete explained in a recent phone interview... Click here for the rest of Pete's storyHave a success story you wish you had time to write? ATPN can draft a profile that your program's
newsletter can use too. Contact ATPN and put "story idea" in the subject line.
|Field News: Fred Tchang on How to Choose An Equipment Loan Database
|Looking for a better way to track equipment? Advancing Opportunities in New Jersey has recently completed a review of database options for its short-term device loan program. Here Fred Tchang, director of assistive technology services, draws on that experience to provide advice for how to go about making the right decision for your program.
At Advancing Opportunities, our
statewide Technology Lending Center had been using a database that was 10 years old, designed using an older version of Microsoft Access. We knew that we needed a new database to help us work more efficiently and effectively, and didn't want to design one from scratch. In the course of reviewing database options, we created a website wiki to record and share what we'd learned about the products used by different state programs (see this equipment loan database wiki page
). What the website doesn't provide, however, is the subject of this article: the process we used to consider our options.Consider the SETT Framework
I was amazed at the diversity of database solutions, each designed to meet different needs. I can truly say that there is no one best solution (don't we always say that?) To find one that's right for your program... Click here to read the rest from Fred Tchang
Have an idea for an article you'd like to contribute? ATPN can provide editing support. Contact ATPN
Hot Resource: Strategies for Rural Outreach
National Assistive Technology Technical Assistance Partnership (NATTAP) website
has posted Strategies for Rural Outreach, a technical assistance
publication that highlights how the Texas, Tennessee, Montana, and Mississippi
AT Act Programs are working to provide statewide AT services.
The paper (written
by ATPN Editor Eliza Anderson) summarizes rural outreach strategies gleaned
from two NATTAP teleconferences and from subsequent phone interviews.
-Regional AT Access Centers;Following these
summaries are steps that states can take to create the rural outreach strategy
that makes the most sense for their communities, assets, and resources. The paper's
appendices include a host of resources for programs including sample portable
AT access center inventories, a sample letter of agreement for regional center
partners, and a list of community and national organization types for states to
consider for partnerships. Click here to download Strategies for Rural Outreach from NATTAP (rtf).
-Mobile Access Units;
-Monthly Regional Outreach Events;
Did You Know?: IPAT Shipping Partnership Helps Rural Residents
North Dakota IPAT highlights a unique public/private
partnership for rural outreach in their December 2009 AT Key. The partnership is providing low cost
transportation of used AT and durable medical equipment (DME) to residents of
North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.
The partnership is with CrossCountry Courier, a freight
carrier based in Bismarck ND. CrossCountry Courier has generously volunteered... Click here to read about IPAT's shipping partnership
Tool Box: Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Mobile Demonstration Inventory
Below is a listing of AT for augmentative and alternative communication demonstrations provided by the Signal Centers in southeastern TN.
is a TN TAP partner that runs AT Regional Centers and carries devices
for demos to homes and workplaces as needed. The Signal Centers have
created portable units tailored to different disabilities. Click here for the AAC inventory...
This and other portable AT inventory recommendations are provided in Strategies for Rural Outreach.
Did You Know?
Georgia's AFP Helps Ensure People with Disabilities
File for their Earned Income Tax Credit
Each year many people with disabilities miss the opportunity
to collect their Earned Income Tax Credit because they don't file a federal
income tax return or they fail to apply for appropriate tax credits. Credit-Able,
the Georgia alternative financing program (AFP), is administered by the Center
for Financial Independence & Innovation, Inc. (CFII) which also runs an IRS
sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. Together these
programs are helping eligible Georgians with disabilities file their tax
returns and better afford assistive technology.
Click here to read more about Credit-Able and VITA...
|Disclaimer: AT Program News makes no
endorsement, representation, or warranty expressed or implied for any
product, device, or information set forth in this newsletter. AT
Program News has not examined, reviewed, or tested any product or
device referred to in this electronic newsletter or at atprogramnews.com
|Peter G. joined the MassMATCH AT Advisory Council in January,
2009 to help raise awareness of the power of AT for people with disabilities.
He is now active with a council subcommittee interested in embedding, and in
some cases developing, fully accessible video clips to and for the MassMATCH
Partnerships for Video Clips: how Peter G. is teaming up with MassMATCH
The subcommittee is partnering with professors and student interns of
the Northeastern University Physical Therapy Department... Click here to read the rest of Partnerships for Video Clips
Ask the Expert:
Spreadsheet or Database?
What are the advantages of a database over a simple spreadsheet? When is it time to upgrade to a database?
-Considering a Change
According to Fred Tchang, you should consider an upgrade to a database if you are encountering one or more of the following:
-You are using several spreadsheets to track related information in different ways.
-You have hundreds of records or more and need to search through them often.
-Several people, perhaps in different locations, need to change or edit a spreadsheet at the same time.
-You want an online way to collect and consolidate data with an option to generate reports.
Click here for a screencast (video) that gives the basic differences between a spreadsheet and a database.
Tchang, ATP, is the Director of Assistive Technology Services at
Advancing Opportunities, a non-profit serving people of all
disabilities throughout the state of New Jersey.
Want to Ask the Expert? ATPN will ask for you (who the expert is depends on the question you pose). To Ask the Expert, contact ATPN and put "Expert" in the subject line. All questions are posed anonymously from start to finish.
Nifty Products (one is FREE); TapToTalk and the NDS Talker
TapToTalk turns the popular Nintendo DSi and DS Lite portable game
consoles into augmentative and alternative communication devices. By tapping
a picture on the screen, the TapToTalk "speaks" with a pre-recorded sound
Parents subscribe to TapToTalk for $99.95 a year which provides... Click here to read more about adapting the Nintendo DS