It’s often said that technology makes life easier for everyone. However, for people with disabilities, technology is more than a convenience. It’s often a necessity to make all things manageable.
Right now, your school is supplying the tech tools your students need for success in the classroom; however, that responsibility ends with the student exiting school. It is important to make careful considerations for adult services. Therefore, the student, family, and other case conference members should identify assistive technology (AT) needs; discuss how the technology will be funded; and establish a plan for equipment training, if needed. This discussion and planning should occur early in the transition process, while students are still in high school, so that they and their families can prepare for tech needs when they leave school.
Some resources to keep in mind:
- The Indiana Assistive Technology Act (INDATA) Project at Easterseals Crossroads in Indianapolis offers funding assistance, lends AT devices and equipment, and reutilizes used equipment to give free of charge to Hoosier individuals with a disability. Not only can you borrow AT from their loan library, but their staff will also train you to use the equipment and devices.
- Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) may provide necessary AT to your students found eligible for VR if they are preparing for or entering employment or training.
- Additional funding sources to explore include Social Security work incentives, the student’s employer (if the technology is considered a reasonable accommodation), private foundations, local charities, and health insurance including Medicaid or Medicare.