Assistive Technology Program

Assistive Technology Program for the District of Columbia (ATPDC)

MISSION:

The Assistive Technology Program for the District of Columbia (ATPDC) is a city-wide program which enables Washingtonians with disabilities,  their family members, service providers and others to learn about, access, and acquire assistive technology (AT) needed for education, employment, and community living. 

What Is Assistive Technology?


Speech-Generating
Communication Device


Portable Electronic Magnifier


FM Listening System

Assistive Technology (AT) devices are generally defined as any item, piece of equipment, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.  Source: AT Act of 1998 as amended, 29 USC §3002.

Examples of assistive technology devices include vibrating smoke alarms, electronic magnifiers, speech communication apps, stair glides and text-to-speech software and apps (WYNN, Read and Write Gold, etc.).  

“Assistive technology services directly assist an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device" (AT Act of 1998, as amended, 29 USC §3002). Assistive technology services entail a comprehensive and often ongoing process.

Examples of AT services include customizing, adapting, repairing or replacing an AT device, providing training or technical assistance for persons with disabilities, their families and the professionals who work with them.

Assistive technology devices and services can make the difference between dependence and independence for persons with disabilities.  Adults can live independently at home in their community instead of an institution and children can achieve academic success in their local schools.

SERVICES PROVIDED

Within ATPDC, we offer four distinct programs: AT Resource Center, AT Device Loan Program, Disability Equipment Recycling Program and the AT Financing Loan Program.  In addition ATPDC provides specialized trainings and assistive technology evaluation and training services.  The goal of these programs is for Washingtonians with disabilities to live independently in their communities and have equal access to educational and employment opportunities.

District of Columbia Assistive Technology Resource Center
Offers an opportunity to learn about various assistive technology devices, try them out and discuss their use. Visitors can discover and compare the usefulness of a broad range of devices, discuss product applications and learn about assistive technology vendors and funding sources.   A hands-on demonstration helps individuals determine the best AT solutions to achieve success in educational, employment and community living endeavors.

AT Device Loan Program
Provides an opportunity for persons with disabilities, family members and service providers to borrow assistive technology devices (generally for periods up to 4 weeks) to assist in decision making before the purchase of AT equipment. Short-term device loans can also be used to accommodate an interim need during device repair or funding delay and are invaluable for self-education and trial runs during clinical assessment.

This trial use in a natural environment (home, school or work) is critical for individuals with disabilities to make informed choices regarding the long-term utility of assistive devices thus reducing the likelihood of equipment abandonment and waste of financial resources. The AT Device Loan program is the only statewide device loan program that serves all ages and disabilities. 

District of Columbia Disability Equipment Recycling Program (DC Shares) 
Provides new and used durable medical equipment (DME) such as wheelchairs, walkers, and shower chairs, and assistive technology devices. The equipment is available at no cost to low income ($20,000 or less) District of Columbia residents with disabilities or those who have a dependent with a disability, regardless of the type of disability or age. Equipment is available on a first come-first serve basis.

Assistive Technology Financing Loan Program (DC FUND$)
Provides Washingtonians with disabilities, family members, guardians or advocates acting on their behalf, another financial resource to purchase assistive technology devices and services, necessary to live, work and be educated in the community.   AT devices such as wheelchair ramps, hearing aids, voice recognition software and speech communication devices, computers and more may be purchased through this program.  Individual loans amounts can range between $500 to $10,000 with terms of 6 months to 5 years and a low 4% interest rate.  This financing program is designed to supplement not supplant existing Federal, State and private funding sources.

Outreach and Information
ATPDC increases knowledge on the availability, benefits, appropriateness and cost of assistive technology devices and services through community outreach events such as employment and educational exhibits and presentations. ATPDC also provides customized training on the effective use of assistive technology devices and services for DC government, schools, employers and community based organizations.  

Group and Specialized Trainings
Trainings are provided to increase knowledge on the use and benefits of assistive devices and services in the classroom, workplace and in the community. ATPDC also provides customized training sessions related to AT in the workplace, for emergency preparedness and in the hospitality industry.

Assistive Technology Evaluations and Training Services
These services include: comprehensive assistive technology needs evaluations including recommendations and report; strategic implementation of assistive technology including device integration and training; consultations on previous device or software recommendations; and monitoring and technical assistance.

These services are fee-based. 

PEOPLE WE SERVE

ATPDC serves District of Columbia residents of all ages, disabilities, income levels and in all environments.  We provide a wide array of activities and serve family members, service providers, educators, therapists, employers, health and rehabilitation professionals, AT vendors, procurement officials, and other interested parties.

HOW TO REQUEST SERVICES
To request ATPDC’s services for yourself or someone you know, refer to the following Information.  Individuals can also contact us via our website at www.atpdc.org.  Normal business hours are 9am-5pm.  

Main Office  
220 I Street, NE, Suite 130, Washington, DC  20002 VOICE (202) 547-0198 FAX (202) 547-2662 TTY (202) 547-2657 – E-mail: ajohns@uls-dc.org

Assistive Technology Alternative Financing Program (AFP)
220 I Street, NE, Suite 130, Washington, DC  20002 VOICE (202) 547-0198 FAX (202) 547-2662 TTY (202) 547-2657 – E-mail: sjaffer@uls-dc.org

District of Columbia Assistive Technology Resource Center (AT Demonstrations and AT Device Loan Program)
220 I Street, NE, Suite 120 Washington, DC  20002 VOICE (202) 589-0288 EXT 137 FAX (202) 547-0198, E-mail democenter@uls-dc.org

District of Columbia Disability Equipment Recycling Program (DC Shares)
1301 Belmont St. NW, Suite 1D, Washington, DC 20009 (inside the Christopher Price House), Please call VOICE 202-332-2595 FAX 202-332-2597 TTY (202) 332-2506, Email: frice@uls-dc.org.

DC Shares hours of operation are Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:00 am-5:00pm.

AT STAFF

Alicia Johns - Program Director
ajohns@uls-dc.org

Debra Haydel- Assistive Technology Specialist
dhaydel@uls-dc.org

Frank Rice- District of Columbia Disability Equipment Recycling Program, Volunteer Coordinator
frice@uls-dc.org

 


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