Chapter 1: Accessibility and Assistive Technology
Section 2: Assistive Technology Information Sources
Exposition of adaptive products for living with a disability. Several shows annually in various parts of the country.
ABLEDATA provides objective information about assistive technology products and rehabilitation equipment available from domestic and international sources. Although ABLEDATA does not sell any products, they can help you locate the companies that do.
ABLEDATA Online Information Centers provide a collection of information on the Internet pertaining to assistive technology and other resources. Information is included on products, websites, conferences, manufacturers, publications and organizations.
Provides downloadable accessibility tools that convert PDF documents to HTML or Text for use with screen readers. Also provides information on Adobe efforts to make its product more accessible
AFB TECH addresses two of the most critical issues facing the ten million Americans who are blind or visually impaired through their Technology/Product Evaluation and CareerConnect.
Technology/Product Evaluation: AFB TECH develops information through analysis, evaluation and laboratory product testing, on a broad range of everyday and emerging devices. Evaluations are published in AFB's AccessWorld: Technology and People with Visual Impairments as well as important related journals.
CareerConnect?: AFB TECH operates a web site and database of currently employed blind or visually impaired individuals, who offer mentorship and support to blind or visually impaired people entering the workplace or pursuing an educational goal. Information for parents, teachers, counselors, and employers is also provided, so they can better assist visually impaired people as they form and actualize their career plans.
Assistive Technology Equipment Loan Program (ATEL) Mary K. Chapman Center For Communicative Disorders
The Assistive Technology Equipment Loan Program (ATEL) offers a variety of assistive technology devices for a short-term loan to Oklahomans with disabilities, so that a trial can be experienced before a purchase is considered. Equipment is available through the ATEL program for short-term loans, demonstration, evaluation for appropriate device, or for self-familiarization of device usage. Requests for equipment loans may be made by a person with a disability, family members, advocates or service providers. Follow this link to learn more about the program, http://oec.okstate.edu/loan/partners.php#3.
For a list of association members and product lines follow this link, www.atia.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3279.
Online directory of information on assistive technology, adaptive clothing, accessible housing, accessible vehicles, accessible exercise equipment, adaptive devices for daily living, wheelchairs and accessories, health aids and more. Online shopping.
Major annual conference and exhibition on computer assisted technology for people with disabilities. Website carries conference information, registration form and technology news.
Sponsors major annual conference and exhibition on technology and people with disabilities. Vendor and product information as well as conference proceedings available online.
Assistive Technology Index: an online disability resource guide with an extensive section on assistive technology. Topics include:
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication;
- Assistive Tech for Children;
- Blindness and Low Vision Technology;
- Daily Living Aids (Low Tech Devices);
- AT for People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing;
- Accessible Web Design;
- Funding Assistive Technology;
- Speech Input;
- Vendors and Vendor Lists;
- Switches; and
- Used Equipment.
Direct link to AT Guide: www.disabilityresources.org/AT.html.
Prescription Drug Assistance Programs
A listing of multiple websites for Prescription Drug Assistance programs. Follow this link to the Disability Resources, Inc. webpage on Prescription Drug Assistance programs, www.disabilityresources.org/RX.html.
Hearing Helpers, in collaboration with Integris Third Age Life Center and ABLE Tech, provides the resources for the Faye Donalson Hearing Helpers demonstration room. The Hearing Helpers demonstration room is open daily, except for holidays, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Hearing Helpers Demonstration Room provides hands-on demonstrations of a number of devices, specifically designed to help the hearing impaired. Whether you are interested in devices for yourself, for a loved one with hearing loss, or for a friend or neighbor, trained volunteers will demonstrate items that are commercially available to you. Products include amplified telephones, alerting devices for the phone and door bell, and devices for quiet listening to the TV. These items are appropriate for people of all ages, who have a hearing loss.
Assistive technology demonstration and short term Loan program - the purpose of the demonstration room is to offer individual or group exploration of one or more assistive technology devices to assist in decision making about device(s) purchases or utilization. Individuals can test assistive listening devices to assist in determining which products are the most successful for use and to "try before they buy." The room is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The demonstration room is staffed by volunteers, many of whom are hearing impaired and can understand the unique hearing patterns of different listeners. Direct link for their policies and procedures, http://oec.okstate.edu/loan/partners.php#4.
Home Page Reader for Windows; software for learning disabilities; home page for Human Resources professionals with information on computer and information access for employees with disabilities.
Tech Guide: Hardware and software products for people with learning disabilities. Covers assistive technology for listening, note-taking, writing, math, reading, studying and organizing. Direct link: www.ldonline.org/indepth/technology/techguide.html.
Information on Microsoft product accessibility features that are currently on your PC and software.
The National Federation of the Blind is the largest and most influential membership organization of blind people in the United States. The NFB improves blind people's lives through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence.
The NFB's products and technology programs provide tools of independence for the blind and serve as models of consumer leadership in designing and implementing innovative services. Blind consumer leaders from throughout the United States take the lead in setting priorities and in promoting the use of new devices which hold promise. Much of the work, such as evaluation of technology at the International Braille and Technology Center and other programs of the Jernigan Institute, is carried out in conjunction with engineers and developers who work as partners with the Federation. Direct link: https://nfb.org/products-and-technology .
NFB gives 30 scholarships to recognize achievement by blind scholars. All applicants for these scholarships:
- must be legally blind, and
- must be pursuing or planning to pursue a full-time, postsecondary course of study in a degree program at a United States' institution in the 2008 scholastic year, except that one scholarship may be given to a person employed full-time while attending school part-time, and
- must participate in the entire NFB national convention and in all scheduled scholarship program activities.
NewView Oklahoma is an Oklahoma private, not-for-profit organization founded in 1949 with the mission to empower people who are blind or significantly visually impaired to achieve their maximum level of independence through employment, rehabilitation and community outreach. Our team of licensed/certified vision rehabilitation specialists and assistive technology professionals offer full-time training, education and support for people living with vision loss, and serve as a resource for the people who care for them. NewView Oklahoma contracts with the Department of Visual Services to provide the following in state vision rehabilitation programs.
Low Vision evaluation and comprehensive treatment plan by a medically licensed Optometrist who specializes in Vision Rehabilitation. Each relationship begins with a professional and objective evaluation of current vision needs, abilities and lifestyle demands.
Low Vision and or Blind rehabilitation provided by licensed occupational therapist. Each patient at NewView receives an evaluation and treatment plan to address an individual’s ability to live safely and independently in their home, at work and or in the community.
Computer Assistive Technology – Computer assistive technology is offered to help patients learn how to use and utilize computers through accessibility software. The software that we teach includes but is not limited to IOS, Android, magnification programs, screen readers, graphic-to-text and OCR. Our lessons can be adapted for clients who are computer-savvy or simply need to learn the software to email and or use the internet.
Braille – We provide expert Braille instruction at all levels. Whether you are seeking to learn functional Braille or to read and write Braille fluently, NewView instructors can create an individualized program to meet your needs.
To learn more about NewView Oklahoma’s statewide vision rehabilitation services, please call our toll free number: 1-855-811-9699.
Visit New View's clinics: http://www.newviewoklahoma.org/#!clinics/c21ac
Programs and services include:
- Assistive technology information and referral;
- Equipment Exchange (adaptive equipment for resale);
- Assistive tech demonstrations;
- Electronic discussion list;
- Publications including Oklahoma Funding for AT; and
- Information on AT solutions for many needs.
Oklahoma Assistive Technology (AT) Device Short Term Loan Program: ABLE Tech and its partners will provide specialized equipment to Oklahomans with disabilities or those that have a dependent with a disability, regardless of their type of disability, age, income level or location of residence within the state and/or appropriate targeted individuals and entities statewide. Consumers have the opportunity to borrow AT devices they would not have otherwise been able to access because no such program exists for specialized equipment. This program will provide Oklahomans with disabilities assistive technology for the purpose of allowing consumers and agencies to "try before they buy," assessment, meeting interim needs when devices go in for repair and for personnel development activities.
Information and Referral: The ABLE Tech INFO-line helps people find the assistive technology they need and keep up with new developments in the field. The ABLE Tech INFO-line provides free information and referral services on assistive technology for people of all ages with disabilities. Family members, service providers, and others who work in fields related to disabilities or to assistive technology may use this service. ABLE Tech INFO-line's resources include a statewide computer database, national resources, in-house collection of catalogs and product literature. The number is 888-885-5588.
Direct link to Short Term Loan Program: http://oec.okstate.edu/home.php .
Oklahoma Assistive Technology Center (OATC) offers a variety of services for children, adolescents and adults with disabilities who may benefit from assistive technology to maintain, enhance, or improve their functional capabilities at home, school and/or work. They also provide information and referral sources, AT consultations and assessments, technical support and training and AT short-term equipment loans. Assistive technology services may be provided in the home, community, work, school and/or clinic environment, depending upon the funding source.
The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) expands opportunities for employment, independent life and economic self-sufficiency by helping Oklahomans with disabilities bridge barriers to success in the workplace, school and at home.
To connect to the DRS office in your area call 800-487-4042.
- Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR): Employment services for people with any disability, except blindness.
- Division of Visual Services (DVS): Employment and independent living services for people who are blind or visually impaired.
- Disability Determination Division: Determines medical eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
- Oklahoma School for the Deaf: Educational programs for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- Oklahoma School for the Blind: Educational programs for children who are blind or visually impaired.
Counselors and technology specialists provide assistive technology evaluations, devices and services to agency clients based on individual needs related to achievement of employment goals. They also help employers locate appropriate adaptive equipment for employees with disabilities. Contact your local Vocational Rehabilitation or Visual Services counselor for information. See DRS Offices Statewide, Rehabilitation section for contact information.
DRS provides vocational rehabilitation, employment and limited independent living services to eligible individuals with disabilities. Medical equipment, assistive technology and related services may be provided if they are part of the Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) developed with a vocational rehabilitation client. In some cases assistive technology devices and services may be provided for independent living purposes.
Assistive technology services which may be available based on a person's eligibility and plan of service include evaluation for assistive technology needs, recommendations for suitable equipment, worksite evaluation for adaptive equipment needs and training in use of specialized equipment.
Current DRS clients should discuss assistive technology needs with their DRS counselors. Applications for DRS services can be made by contacting local DRS offices. See DRS Offices Statewide, Rehabilitation and Independent Living section.
Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) - Visual Services, Rehabilitation Technology Lab for Blindness and Low Vision
- Individual assistive technology evaluations;
- Recommendations for assistive technology to meet individual needs;
- Demonstration of adaptive computer technology;
- Employer consultation on technology for employment situations; and
- Information on assistive tech options for blindness and low vision.
OSB is a residential and day school for children and youth with visual impairments. The School also serves as a statewide resource for the education of blind and visually impaired children in the public schools. Programs and services include:
- Academic instruction through 12th grade;
- Instruction in specialized adaptive skills such as braille, orientation and mobility, use of assistive technology and low vision aids, and independent living skills;
- Vocational training and work-study opportunities;
- College preparation;
- Social, cultural and recreational activities including sports teams, music, band competitions, and a variety of student organizations;
- Outreach services providing technical assistance to help teachers and parents develop appropriate individualized education programs for visually impaired children in public schools;
- Related services such as student assessment, counseling, physical therapy, speech and language therapy, audiological services, health care and parent education and counseling; and
- Library and Media Center with educational materials in alternate formats including Braille, large print and recordings. Assistive devices to try out or borrow include talking appliances, magnifiers, closed-circuit TVs for print enlargement, electronic Braille notetakers and much more.
Summer Enrichment Program: Oklahoma Kids: A Kaleidoscope. For 1st - 12th grade students who are blind or visually impaired. The summer program is for children and youth who do not regularly attend the School for the Blind. The program offers specialized skills instruction, remediation, reinforcement in academic skills, training in use of assistive technology for the blind, recreation and social skills development. Children are transported home each weekend of the four week session.
RESNA Technical Assistance Project provides technical assistance to state assistive tech projects authorized and funded under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998. Advises projects regarding advocacy, program management, universal design issues, state procurement actions and funding of assistive technology.
Credentialing Program provides assistive technology practitioner certificate for service providers primarily involved in analysis of a consumer's needs and training in use of a particular device.
The assistive technology supplier certificate is for service providers involved in the sale and service of commercially available devices.
Ambucs Share-4-Life Komputers (ASK): the program takes donations of used computers and gives them to individuals with disabilities. Software is installed on the computers but adaptive software and hardware is not provided.
Total Source for Hearing-loss and Access (TSHA) is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma and provides comprehensive services to the Deaf and hard of hearing communities throughout Oklahoma. Their goal is to increase the independence of people with hearing loss.
TSHA's programs are far reaching. The Interpreter Referral Program provides sign language interpreters for the entire state of Oklahoma including both Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Projects with Industry (PWI) offers job placement assistance to qualified individuals and serves a large portion of the state, while the Independent Living and the Information and Referral Programs focus mainly on the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.
Summer Day Camps for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children - children ages 7-13 may attend, and youth ages 14-15 can apply for counselor-in-training positions. A deaf education instructor leads camps, with volunteers assisting. Activities include speakers and hands-on activities organized around a central theme that is different each year. Sign language and voice communications are used.
Independent Living Camp - for deaf and hard of hearing teens ages 14 and up. The camp meets at TSHA and is free. Activities focus on developing independent living skills such as cooking, budgeting, making college arrangements, using transportation, etc. Field trips and fun activities are included.
Deaf Teen Club - for youth of middle-school age and up. The Club meets the third Friday of each month, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., and gives deaf and hard of hearing teens a chance to network, connect with peers, learn independent living concepts and have fun.
December Holiday Party - for children and youth who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired; children of deaf adults; siblings and families. Activities include free holiday stockings, games, crafts, prizes, food and a signing Santa.
The Center works on ways to make standard information technologies and communications systems more accessible to and usable by people with disabilities. Operates Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers on Information Technology Access and on Telecommunications Access. Provides information on Web accessibility. See web page, Designing More Usable Web Sites: http://trace.wisc.edu/world/web/.
The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) works with organizations around the world to develop strategies, guidelines and resources to help make the web accessible to people with disabilities. Web content accessibility guidelines: how to make web site content accessible to people with disabilities. Direct link: www.w3.org/WAI/intro/wcag.php.