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ATAC of DRNJ Provides Funding For Nine Innovative Assistive Technology Projects

The Assistive Technology Advocacy Center (ATAC) of Disability Rights New Jersey (DRNJ) recently announced grant awards for short-term projects to expand assistive technology services in New Jersey. ATAC received over twenty applications for this opportunity from which the following nine applicants have been awarded funding for their assistive technology projects:

Adam Krass Consulting, L.L.C. (AKC): AKC is based in Bergen County and provides assistive technology services to children and adults in New Jersey. AKC will conduct training and device demonstrations in centers for independent living (CILs) across New Jersey, introducing staff and members of the CILs to assistive technology devices that support activities of daily living, control the environment, increase mobility and communications, and provide access to computers.

Advancing Opportunities (AO): AO is a non-profit organization in Mercer County that provides assistive technology loan and demonstration services on a statewide basis. AO will partner with three New Jersey CILs to enhance their capacity to perform device demonstrations, resulting in greater availability of assistive technology on a statewide basis.

Anshe Emeth Community Development Corporation (AECDD): AECDD provides health-related and social services to individuals in the Greater Middlesex County community who are not eligible for most free or subsidized services. AECDD provides access to durable medical equipment or other medical services that people with disabilities need to live as fully and independently as possible. Through the grant award, AECDD will expand the number of assistive technology devices available through their loan program.

Gloucester County Special Services School District (GCSSD): GCSSD provides a variety of specialized services to meet new or emerging needs in response to the increasingly diverse student population being educated by today’s schools. GCSSD will provide training to educators, trainers, and parents in assistive technology and will also provide augmentative communication devices for demonstration and loan to other school districts in the county.

New Jersey Institute of Disabilities (NJID): NJID is a non-profit organization in Middlesex County that provides a unique continuum of services for more than 1,000 children and adults with disabilities. NJID will work with the American Red Cross and the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management to provide emergency shelters with communication devices for people with limited speech capacities, as well as training on how to use the devices. This will serve as a model program for other counties seeking to make emergency services more effective for people with disabilities.

New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center (TBBC): TBBC is the public library for New Jersey’s residents with print disabilities, and provides library service throughout the state. TBBC will partner with the Brain Injury Association of New Jersey to provide portable, handheld digital book players for loan to persons with traumatic brain injuries.

Progressive Center for Independent Living (PCIL): PCIL is based in Mercer and Hunterdon Counties and advocates for the rights of people with disabilities to achieve and maintain independent lifestyles. PCIL will establish a statewide assistive technology training project for state emergency management officials who will in turn train their local emergency responders in the mechanics of evacuation of people who use durable medical equipment, such as wheelchairs and other adaptive devices.

The College of New Jersey (TCNJ): TCNJ operates an Assistive Technology Lending Program and an Alternate Format Production Center available to a network of state and community colleges in New Jersey, and provides training and technical assistance related to use of assistive technology devices. TCNJ will equip and enhance their lending program to provide more New Jersey students with instructional materials in alternate formats.

Your ReSource, Inc. (YR): Your ReSource is a Mercer County non-profit organization that operates an equipment reutilization program to enhance access to affordable home medical equipment. YR will expand their service area in south and central New Jersey through outreach activities.

“This is the second year we’ve provided this funding for new projects,” said Curtis Edmonds, ATAC program manager. “We’re hopeful that this year’s grantees will be as successful as last year’s were, and that these funds will benefit New Jersey residents with disabilities who use assistive technology.”

Disability Rights New Jersey (DRNJ) is the designated protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities in New Jersey. DRNJ is a non-profit corporation whose governing board consists of a majority of persons with disabilities or family members of persons with disabilities. DRNJ provides legal and non-legal advocacy, information and referral, outreach, training and technical assistance to advance the human, civil, and legal rights of persons with disabilities.

The Assistive Technology Advocacy Center (ATAC) of Disability Rights New Jersey (DRNJ) serves as New Jersey’s federally funded assistive technology project through a sub-contract with New Jersey’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Its purpose is to assist individuals in overcoming barriers in the system and making assistive technology more accessible to individuals with disabilities throughout the state.


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