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The Richard West Assistive Technology Advocacy Center of Disability Rights New Jersey Awards Funding For Six New Assistive Technology Projects

The Richard West Assistive Technology Advocacy Center (ATAC) of Disability Rights New Jersey has announced grant awards for projects to expand access to assistive technology services and devices in New Jersey. The focus for this round of grant awards was services for students with disabilities in all areas of education. During this fourth year of short-term funding opportunities, ATAC received more than 15 applications from which the following six grants have been awarded:

Adam Krass Consulting, LLC (AKC): AKC is based in Bergen County and provides assistive technology consulting services throughout New Jersey. AKC will partner with Heightened Independence & Progress, a local center for independent living, and the Region V Council for Special Education of the New Jersey Department of Education. AKC will work with both entities to provide device demonstrations for students in underserved communities in northern New Jersey. AKC will utilize ATAC funding to purchase assistive technology devices and applications that will help support students transitioning from high school to higher education or careers.

AssistiveTek, LLC (AT): AT provides educational assistive technology services to students in northern New Jersey. In this grant, AT is partnering with the Sussex County Educational Services Commission to provide teacher training and classroom demonstrations to provide students with disabilities in a rural county with a range of assistive technologies that can make instruction more engaging and accessible. AT will utilize ATAC funding to purchase tablet computers and applications tailored to the needs of students with disabilities.

Harrison Township School District (HTSD): HTSD, located in Gloucester County, serves approximately 1500 students from preschool through grade 6. HTSD will utilize ATAC funding to purchase adapted sports balls and equipment for football, basketball, soccer and bowling for students with disabilities. HTSD will provide demonstrations of the adapted equipment to physical education teachers and volunteer coaches to help assure that students with disabilities can participate in recreational activities.

The Leaguers, Inc. (TLI): TLI provides educational programs and services to the diverse communities in Essex and Union Counties, including Head Start programs. TLI will provide demonstrations of an augmentative communication application for tablet computers. This application allows children with autism and other communication barriers to participate more effectively in education. TLI will involve teachers, parents and students in efforts to use augmentative communication to meet the goals in the students’ individualized education plans.

Middlesex County College (MCC): MCC operates an Assistive Technology Lab, which provides support services for students with disabilities. MCC will utilize ATAC funding to provide additional assistive technology devices, such as tablet computers, study aids, and magnifiers, to loan to students who need them to support an educational outcome.

The College of New Jersey, Center for Assistive Technology & Inclusive Education Studies (CATIES): CATIES conducts assistive technology evaluations, augmentative communication evaluations, and professional development workshops, and provides information, technical assistance and training to school districts and parents. CATIES will utilize ATAC funding to expand its inventory of assistive technology applications and accessories for tablet computers. CATIES will provide demonstrations of these applications and accessories, which will enable students who have disabilities to use tablet computers to communicate, gain access to the content areas by having books read aloud, improve their writing skills, access the Internet for research, and learn academic skills.

“This is the fourth year we’ve provided this funding for new projects,” said Curtis Edmonds, ATAC program manager. “We’ve been very pleased that we’ve been able to play a role in expanding existing assistive technology programs, and we definitely hope that this year’s recipients continue to provide much-needed services to benefit New Jersey residents with disabilities.”
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 Richard West 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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