The Technology Access Center opened in August, 1989 as a program of United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee, and has been operated by the non-profit corporation Access Services of Middle Tennessee since 1990. The Access Services of Middle Tennessee corporation is registered as “doing business as” (d/b/a) Technology Access Center. From its inception, the center has been one of 40 community resource centers in the country that meets specific standards centered on consumer-directed services required for membership in the Alliance for Technology Access, a national organization of centers, manufacturers, and individual and organizational affiliates, all focused on assistive technology.
The Technology Access Center has been one of five assistive technology centers for individuals with disabilities in Tennessee since 1991as a part of the federally funded and state administered Tennessee Technology Access Program (TTAP). Through this program, staff members develop and provide assistive technology services including device demonstrations, short term device loans, reutilization of previously used devices, training and technical assistance, and public awareness, information, and assistance. Since 1992 the Technology Access Center has also been one of five centers in the state contracted by the Tennessee Division of Rehabilitation Services to provide assistive technology services for clients of Tennessee Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Blind Services. The center also provides services for children in early intervention programs and schools, for clients of the Veterans Administration Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and the Veterans Hospitals.
The Technology Access Center (TAC) provides technology resources and opportunities to redefine human potential by making technology a regular part of the lives of children and adults who have disabilities or functional limitations. They discover and choose technology solutions, find resources to acquire needed technology, and learn how to use it to meet their needs in daily life. Assistive technology helps individuals maintain, increase, and/or improve their functional capabilities. The focus areas at the Center are assistive technologies which help people to learn, communicate, carry out activities of daily living, control their environment, participate in recreation, and work.
1. Outreach services accomplishments from the past year:
· 120 assistive technology devices were demonstrated to 86 individuals
·401individuals received information through public awareness events
·Technical assistance was provided to 13 educational professionals
·Over 650 addresses receive the monthly electronic newsletter
·Monthly news articles are disseminated to 1,145 Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and Vanderbilt Department of Special Education faculty, staff andstudents
·There were 2,459 visits on the TAC website
·There were 176 responses provided to requests for information and/or referrals
·There were 120 new TAC referrals for individual services
·78 clients completed a formal assessment todetermine the best assistive technology solution to meet their needs
2. Four videos of the Center’s clients using their individual assistive technology solutions were completed, edited, and posted on YouTube. Another video provides an overview of the Technology Access Center assistive technology and services.
3. A Blue Ribbon Board Nominating Committee was establishedto identify potential board members who can help on the most crucial, strategic work facing the Center right now, and develop financial resources.
Goals for the Current Year:
1. Obtain funding to develop and implement home based assistive technology services for people with ALS. Services are currently onlyoffered at monthly ALS Clinics at Vanderbilt Medical Center.
2. Further develop the Blue Ribbon Board Nominating Committee and secure new productive board members
3. Focus the board and staff member efforts on the Center’s critical path or sequence of decisions and actions that will lead to success.
In most instances, individuals who participate in the Individual Assistive Technology Services program are provided services in community settings where they will use the technology, i.e. home, school, employment settings. Effective use of technology is dependent on factors in the environment and context in which it will be used. Services are offered for individuals of any age beginning with children as young as 2 years of age who can benefit from adapted toys and communication tools to senior individuals who, for example, may benefit from devices to make print materials readable and aids for daily living activities. The focus is on equipping individuals with the technology tools they need for full participation in any aspect of their life – education, employment, recreation, and home and community life.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
With global competition, technological changes and the growth of knowledge- and service-based economies, even entry-level jobs require more advanced skills than they did several decades ago. There is great demand for workers with education, skills training or both, but jobs that require only a high school diploma are disappearing, or the wages they pay are dropping. Schools offer limited vocational training, and graduates often lack the practical job skills employers need.
Copyright © 2014 The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee
3833 Cleghorn Avenue, Nashville, TN 37215