Assistive technology (AT) is growing in popularity as local families adjust to social distancing and virtual community activities. The Ability Center has launched a new program, Tech for REC (recreation, education, employment, and community), which allows people to borrow assistive technology. This lending closet of adaptive items was developed to serve the seven-county service area of Lucas, Ottawa, Wood, Fulton, Henry, Defiance, and Williams.
The lending closet consists of electronic devices, alternative input/output devices, and switch-adapted toys, instruments, and leisure items. Participants must first be a consumer of The Ability Center and set independent-living goals that align with the use of the pieces.
Tech for REC was initiated for youth to gain access to adapted play and leisure items. In response to COVID-19, The Ability Center identified access to technology as a barrier for individuals across the entire lifespan. With this in mind, the closet was expanded to include devices (Kindles, iPads, and Chromebooks) to support independent living.
All items are available to borrow for short-term loans up to 90 days free of charge. Caregivers can borrow AT to help a child reach a specific milestone or to make an informed purchasing or funding decision.
Similar to the Tech for REC Program, In 2019, we supplied 687 individuals with durable medical equipment through our Assistive Technology/Medical Equipment Program. 100% of individuals reported on a follow-up survey that their needs were met. The Ability Center is currently in need of bathroom equipment for this program. These items are not generally covered by insurance and keep people safe within one of the most used rooms in the home.
For more information, visit www.abilitycenter.org.