Updated: Jun 20, 2022
The latest reauthorization of the 2004 AT (Assistive Technology) ACT inspired this post because it addresses a major problem ingrained in the social fabric of our country, and paves the way for important Assistive technology programs such as AT3 and EasterSeals. People with disabilities are often discriminated against or misunderstood in the workforce because they lack access to the tools that could admit them to an equal playing field with those without disabilities. Disabled people share the same motivation and intelligence as able-bodied workers, but are denied the same opportunities to succeed. This is why Federal assistive technology programs and Statewide centers are so important to our workforce as a whole.
Through demos, loans, and libraries for the exploration of new assistive technologies, AT programs have made massive strides in providing people with disabilities the help they need and deserve. These technologies address a plethora of reasons that correct difficulties in: speaking, typing, writing, pointing, remembering, hearing, learning ... many other functions which are vital to both daily life and work. People in need can visit their local AT center and speak with an Assistive technology specialist on the product or human assistance that could be right for them.
For instance, a freelance programmer from Florida, suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome with lost control over their hands can make an appointment with local AT Center Programs such as FAAST. Once the appointment is made, they will meet with an assistive technology specialist who will offer them a demo of the device(s) they feel are a good fit for the problem.
Even though Many products now have built-in (device-specific) accessibility settings they do not always work when switching between a computer, mobile, and tablet. This freelancer may be advised to try MyMove - the perfect tool to regain independence and employability.
Each state and territory has at least one AT Program, in addition to multiple centers. These can be found by simply clicking on your state/territory below:
Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Image Credit: Congressman Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, are applauded after Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act. President George H. W. Bush signed the act into law on July 26, 1990.
Terry Ashe/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty