The Assistive Technology Unit (ATU) is located at the Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center, 4800 North Lamar Boulevard, Austin, Texas.
*The term "assistive technology device" means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.*
*Based on 34 CFR Section 361.5(b)(7)
The mission of the Assistive Technology Unit is to work in partnership with consumers and staff members of the Division for Blind Services to provide technology evaluation, demonstration, training services, technical advice, and information that support consumers in reaching employment goals.
Counselors may refer vocational rehabilitation consumers of the Division for Blind Services to the Assistive Technology Unit.02/13, 03/13)
Provides an overview of one or more types of assistive technologies. Usually requires two hours or less. May be conducted for consumers, as well as employers or other groups. No recommendations for equipment purchase are made based on the results of a demonstration. There are no prerequisites.
Assesses different pieces of technology in a specific category to determine which most effectively meets the vocational/educational needs of the consumer. Usually completed in one day.
Provides basic training to consumers in the use of assistive technology equipment. Usually requires 3 to 5 days.
The consumer must meet the following prerequisites for evaluation and training:
If the consumer will be evaluated for or trained on the use of a braille embosser or braille note taker, then he or she must read contracted braille at 50 words per minute with 80 percent accuracy.
If the consumer requires special accommodations because of a physical limitation, medical condition, or learning disability, or if the consumer is employed and the evaluation is for job retention, before submitting a referral, contact the Assistive Technology Unit to request a waiver of the typing and/or braille requirement.
The process for referral is as follows:
The ATU Specialist enters a case note (places a report in case notes) entitled Report—Equipment Recommendation, containing specific assistive equipment recommendations with proprietary justification for these recommendations as required.
Field staff may need to arrange for specific training for job or school related tasks with a contract vendor following ATU evaluation/training.