Recycle Your Assistive Technologies

Recycle Your Assistive Technologies

Editor: Most of us already recycle our hearing aids, but have you ever wondered about recycling other assistive technology you no longer use? How about that old ALD?

OSERS has a program to do just that! Here to tell you all about it is Assistant Secretary John H. Hager.

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The U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) is pleased to share with you an important message about the newly released brochure, “Recycle Your AT.”

On Feb. 1, 2001, President Bush announced the New Freedom Initiative-a comprehensive program to promote the full participation of people with disabilities in all areas of society. One of the pillars of the NFI is dedicated to increasing access to assistive and universally designed technologies, expanding educational opportunities and promoting full access to community life for all Americans.

OSERS has an important role in working to achieve these objectives by ensuring that youths with disabilities are prepared with the training and skills they need to take advantage of the postsecondary outcomes of competitive employment, education, independent living and community participation.

Assistive technology gives individuals, particularly those with disabilities, the freedom to explore the possibilities of work, school and home, and helps to ensure that all individuals who want to work can find a job.

For many people with disabilities, assistive technologies are helping to defeat dependence, frustration and isolation: text telephones for those with hearing impairments; computer monitors for those with visual impairments; lighter wheelchairs. These modern technologies make the world more accessible, yet they are often unattainable to the people who need them but cannot afford them. We can help.

The reuse of assistive technology devices is an important and practical way to meet the needs of so many who would otherwise go without or who could benefit from higher-level devices. Reusing AT provides devices to people who need them, saves resources, benefits taxpayers, prevents waste, decreases health risks, helps people maintain their level of care and builds confidence in the system. Recycling and reuse of assistive technology just makes common sense.

It is abundantly clear that access to AT has a tremendous impact on the successful transition of young adults. For many people with disabilities, AT is an essential support to daily living. A person may depend on a wheelchair, walker, special computer keyboard, speech-generating device or other AT device at home, at school or at work. Finding ways to make AT more available is something with which few could argue. Our task is now clear: We must strive to remove barriers for every American with or without a disability. Toward that end, I am pleased to make available the attached accessible brochure, Recycle Your AT.

This brochure provides information about AT reuse programs, as well as resources available to those interested in learning more about these programs across the country.

OSERS looks forward to continued partnerships to achieve America’s goal of access and independence for all. We hope that this brochure will prove to be a helpful resource for those who recognize the reuse of AT as one of the most encouraging ways to make AT more available to individuals who need it.

To view the text version of the brochure, visit:
http://www.ed.gov/programs/atsg/at-reuse.html

To download a PDF version of the brochure, click:
http://www.ed.gov/programs/atsg/at-reuse.pdf