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Assistive Technology in the Community

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Technology, home modifications, and accessible design, along with personal assistance are basic supports people with disabilities often need to live where they choose and to participate fully in community life.  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has established the right of people with disabilities to have access to public accommodations and public programs, services, and activities.  The right to receive publicly-funded services, such as Medicaid long-term services and supports (major source for assistive technology and adaptive aids), in the most integrated setting is affirmed by the landmark Supreme Court Olmstead decision of 1999.

Best practice and advocacy resources:

  • CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation)

    CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) technology, also known as realtime captioning, can help persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing to fully participate in such activities as conferences, religious services, educational classes and seminars, or medical appointments. CART providers accompany people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing to meetings and many other events, and, using a stenotype machine and a laptop, instantly transcribe the spoken words into text that a person with hearing loss can read on a laptop computer or other screen.

  • Exceptional Parent Magazine.

    Award winning magazine's online resource provides information on technology, mobility, education, and wide range of support and ideas for parents and families of children with disabilities and professionals who work with them.

  • Institute for Human Centered Design.

    Promotes accessibility as well as universal design to address environmental issues that confront people with disabilities as well as the elderly.

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    Understanding Medicaid Home and Community Based Services: A Primer.

  • Center for Universal Design

    Information on universal design in housing, public and commercial facilities, and related products.

  • The Center for an Accessible Society.

    National organization designed to focus public attention on disability and independent living issues.

  • WheelchairNet.

    Information on accessibility, modifications, and technology.

  • National Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modifications.

    This website, a university-based and non-profit effort, is dedicated to promoting aging in place and independent living for persons of all ages and abilities. It offers training and education opportunities for professionals who wish to respond to the increasing demand for home modification services. It also serves as an information clearinghouse on home modification to equip professionals and consumers with a comprehensive inventory of resources such as a National Directory of Home Modification and Repair Resources.

  • The Breaking New Ground Resource Center.

    Resources for persons with disabilities in rural settings.

  • The Boulevard.

    Wide range of products and solutions for functioning in everyday life.

  • Live Oak.

    Adaptive products for the home including accessible kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms.

Resources for Recreation:
Gardening for people with disabilities:  Here is a list of websites compiled by the Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation's Paralysis Resource Center.  It includes tips for gardeners who use wheelchairs or other AT.  Click here.

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