Written by: Emily Flynn, Ability Tools Information and Advocacy Specialist
I have worked for Ability Tools for nearly two and a half years and have received thousands of phone, website, and email inquiries. I decided I would make a small frequently asked question list as a resource for not only individuals providing services but also those requesting services.
- What is considered Assistive Technology (AT)?
- Specifically, Assistive Technology is any device, gadget, hardware or software used by a person with a disability to do things for themselves that might otherwise be difficult or impossible to do because of their disability. AT includes low-tech items like a reacher or a magnifying glass or high-tech equipment like tablet apps, or systems that allow you to control your computer with your eyes. For communication, learning, playing, to get around, working, chances are there is an AT solution for you.
- Where can I donate my old durable medical equipment?
- Ability Tools has a list of partners that are agencies that accept donations of gently used assistive technology devices and gadgets that are cleaned and repaired before donating or providing at a low cost to people with disabilities. For a list of our Partners visit http://abilitytools.org/services/reuse-programs.php
- How does Ability Tools Device Loan Program work?
- Ability Tools operates a Device Lending Library program throughout California. Whether your need is temporary or you would just like to try out some devices before you buy, our Device Lending Libraries can provide free, short-term loans for up to 30 days for equipment such as portable ramps, AAC devices, magnifiers, computer software and more. To see what devices are available please visit Ability Tools online device market place called the AT Exchange. https://exchange.abilitytools.org/welcome.aspx
- How can I borrow a try assistive technology for free? Also can they ship the device to me if the Device Lending Library is far away?
- Try before you buy with our device lending libraries. Borrow devices/items for up to 30 days at a time free of charge.
- Free shipping is available for residents of California if the item is small enough; however, it is the individual’s is responsibility to arrange/pay the return shipping unless prior arrangements have been made with the specific Device Lending Library the device is coming from.
- Follow these steps to set up a free account and try an item:
- Visit https://exchange.abilitytools.org/welcome.aspx
- Select “REQUEST A NEW ACCOUNT” on the left hand side. This will take you to a page to have you fill in your information.
- Fill in your information. The fields with the red arrows are mandatory to fill in.
- Confirm your email – After you have completed the form you should receive an email to verify your account, note that you cannot log in until you have gone through the account verification process. If the account is not verified, the account is not active.
- Request an item – After the account is active, log in and you should be able to place a request for any device available.
- Where can I find funding resources related to assistive technology?
- Ability Tools provides information on funding resources related to specific assistive technology devices and services like: Hearing aids, Home modifications, Vehicle modifications, and information on Medi-Cal Funding. Please check out the information on our resource section of our website, http://abilitytools.org/resources/how-to-pay.php
- The FreedomTech Financial Loan Program provides Californians with affordable financial loans to purchase needed assistive technology. Our financial loans range from $500 to $15,000. To learn more and apply, please visit, http://freedomtech.org/