Authors: Bryant, Brian R. | Seay, Penny Crews | O'Connell, Maureen | Comstock-Galagan, James
When Congress passed the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act in 1988, it did so with the knowledge that individuals with disabilities can use assistive technology (AT) to enhance many aspects of their lives. In fact, from the time of its initial passage to its reauthorization in 1994, the Tech Act, as the legislation has come to be known, had increased the public's awareness about AT, and led to the development of many state-wide consumer-responsive systems of assistive technology service delivery. It also had increased people's hands-on experiences with AT devices and services. Yet, there was the realization that,
…despite the efforts of the state Tech Act projects, systemic barriers existed that impeded the timely access and use of AT devices and services for countless US citizens with disabilities. As a result, Congress included in the revised Tech Act a provision for all state Tech Act projects to undertake a cooperative agreement with their Protection and Advocacy (P and A) system. Essentially, the purpose of this cooperative agreement was to allow for ‘systems change’ to occur as a result of potential or actual litigation brought forth on behalf of people with disabilities by the state P and As. This article discusses one such cooperative agreement that was reached by the Texas Tech Act project, the Texas Assistive Technology Partnership, and Texas' P and A system, Advocacy, Incorporated. General discussion focuses on the Tech Act and its provisions, and specific information is provided about the cooperative agreement formulated in Texas and its early results.
Keywords: Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act, Assistive technology, Systemic change, Disability rights, Advocacy
Citation: Technology and Disability,
vol. 5, no. 3-4, pp. 275-282, 1996
Price: EUR 27.50