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New Additions to Pennsylvania's Assistive Technology Lending Library

September 2013

Pennsylvania's Assistive Technology Lending Library (PATLL) has acquired new additions to the hundreds of assistive technology (AT) devices, which are stored and circulated statewide through the Hiram G. Andrews Center. The entire inventory can be searched on the Institute's website and users are able to view which items have been added within the past 12 months by selecting "show new items."

These new items have been funded through existing Institute projects and address different needs. With funding from a "rebate" to the Lending Library, new augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices including ProSlate (www.frs-solutions.com) and NovaChat (http://saltillo.com) have been purchased to serve people with complex communication needs. Other AAC devices such as the Choice Communicator from Augmentative Communication Consultants, Inc. (www.acciinc.com) and the Accent from Prentke Romich (www.prentrom.com) were purchased with additional federal dollars available through Pennsylvania's Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT).

Funds for consumer education and outreach from the Telecommunication Device Distribution Program have been used to purchase several new telephone options available to qualified applicants through that program, including the new hands-free Fortissimo (www.plantronics.com) and CapTel 840 (www.ultratec.com).

Through the iCanConnect program consumers in Pennsylvania now have access to items designed assist individuals who are deaf-blind in achieving communications access. These select devices are restricted to people who are deaf-blind and eligible for the program, or service providers who are supporting people who are deaf-blind.

These new items will do much to keep the PA ATLL current, providing people with disabilities in Pennsylvania with the most up-to-date technology. Unfortunately, after many years of reduced state funding, other items in the library are not up to date and this is only one of many challenges that will face the PA ATLL. The technology in the inventory becomes obsolete faster than it can be replaced and the PA ATLL can simply not keep up with the requests for the new technology and devices.

The PA ATLL encourages everyone who has borrowed devices from the inventory to send an email with a story about how the PA ATLL helped you, a loved one, a co-worker or a friend. OR, you may express how NOT having access to the device in the PA ATLL has had a negative impact on how you made your final purchase decision.

To contact the PA ATLL with questions, your story or other assistance email: atlend@temple.edu.

Pennsylvania's Assistive Technology Lending Library website (http://disabilities.temple.edu/programs/assistive/atlend)

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