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Local Guide to Assistive Technology

Table of Contents
  1. Local Guide to Assistive Technology

Local Guide to Assistive Technology

FAQ
General Product Information
Funding Assistive Technology
Mobility
Speech

Note:  For more information regarding Assistive Technology, read the Guide to Assistive Technology and the FAQ: Assistive Technology



How will I know what kind of assistive technology is right for me?

In Hawai`i, Assistive Technology Resource Centers of Hawai`i (ATRC) has an Information and Referral System that links individuals to the best assistive technology solutions for their needs. You can visit ATRC's website at www.atrc.org or contact ATRC by email at [email protected]. There are also various Internet resources such as www.assistivetech.net that also assist individuals in finding the right assistive technology tools to suit their needs.


Can I try assistive technology before I buy it?

The Assistive Technology Resource Centers of Hawai`i (ATRC) has equipment loan banks statewide that lend assistive technology free of charge. Some other places that provide this service are the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Aloha Special Technology Access Center and Ho'opono, which is a branch of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

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General Product Information

Assistive technology devices enable individuals with disabilities greater independence and more control over their lives. These devices allow individuals to participate more fully in their communities by providing them with more options and opportunities.

Assistive Technology devices are specially designed or modified items or pieces of equipment for people with disabilities. These tools help individuals to function at home, school, work or play. Everyday tasks are easier. Individuals have more choice and independence. These devices are often the answer to many unique problems.

Some of these devices can be simple tools such as adapted utensils, magnifiers, or modified clothing. There are also more complex items such as computers, environmental control units, and hand controls for vehicles.

Assistive Technology Resource Centers of Hawai`i
In 1988 President Reagan signed into law, the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act. This law was amended and signed by President Clinton in 1994. It provides funding to states for the development of training programs focused on meeting the assistive technology needs of individuals with disabilities. The Assistive Technology Resource Centers of Hawai`i (ATRC) are funded under this act. ATRC is a non-profit organization that links persons with technology and empowers individuals through its use.

Aloha Special Technology Access Center
The Aloha Special Technology Access Center is a local grassroots organization that provides access to computers, peripheral tools, and software for individuals with disabilities and their families.

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Funding Assistive Technology

Hawai`i Medicaid Program
Hawai`i QUEST
Children's Health Insurance Program
QUEST-Net
SAGE PLUS
HAT Loan Program

There are many programs and insurance companies that will pay for assistive technology. In Hawai`i, assistive technology is usually paid for if it falls under one of the following categories:

  • Prosthetic devices
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy, speech, hearing and language therapy
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Eyeglasses
  • Preventive services
  • Intermediate Care Facilities for Persons with Mental Retardation
  • Community Supported Living Arrangements Program

It is sometimes difficult to determine what program will pay for equipment. Sometimes you need to get approval ahead of time. "Durable medical equipment" is usually covered if your doctor says you need it. These can include wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, canes, and many other devices. It is best to ask your physician about rules and medical coverage. It is also important that you ask your physician for a detailed and complete recommendation.


Hawai`i Medicaid Program
The Hawai`i Medicaid Program is administered by the Department of Human Services (DHS). It pays for medical care for individuals and families with low income and resources. Services are on a fee-for-service basis. This means that Medicaid does not directly supply assistive technology or give cash grants to recipients. Instead, it directly reimburses providers for medical equipment, services and supplies. Individuals who are age 65 and over, or certified blind or disabled will usually qualify for Medicaid. For all other individuals, coverage is provided under Hawai`i QUEST.

Hawai`i QUEST
Hawai`i QUEST is a state program. It provides health coverage for eligible Hawai`i residents. QUEST is administered by the Department of Human Services. Services are provided by managed care health organizations. Each managed care health plan approves requests for assistive technology. If approval is denied by either Medicaid or by a QUEST plan, there are appeals processes available.

Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is an expansion of the QUEST and Medicaid fee-for-service programs. This is a program for, children ages 0 to 19 years of age, who live in Hawai`i. They must have working parents who meet certain family income levels.

QUEST-Net
QUEST-Net is for people who no longer qualify for QUEST or Medicaid due to income limits. Participants pay a monthly fee based on their annual income.

SAGE PLUS
Hawai`i's Executive Office on Aging administers SAGE PLUS. It is a health insurance counseling program for people age 60 and older, their families and caregivers. SAGE provides statewide health insurance information, counseling and referrals. Trained volunteers provide one-on-one counseling by telephone or in person. Individuals learn about the benefits of SAGE PLUS and receive assistance in completing forms. If necessary, counselors contact other agencies for information on obtaining assistive technology devices or services.

HAT Loan Program
The Hawai`i Assistive Technology (HAT) Loan Program is a joint effort of the Assistive Technology Resource Centers of Hawai`i (ATRC) and American Savings Bank. This program offers low-interest loans for the purchase of assistive technology devices and services. American Savings Bank, which administers the loan program, processes all applications.

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Mobility

There are assistive technology tools for the positioning, seating, transferring, mobility, and transporting of individuals with disabilities. These tools help keep people safe, healthy and comfortable when lying down, sitting, standing, moving, and or when they are transferred. Some examples of mobility tools are wedge-shaped pillows that allow for easy breathing, or walkers and canes that have pouches for easy storage. Here are a few devices that can help you with mobility issues:

  • Canes
  • Walkers
  • Wheelchair Ramps and Lifts
  • Seat Lifts
  • Emergency Alert System for Cars

Accessible Vans Hawai`i
Accessible Vans Hawai`i specializes in accessible vans for individuals with disabilities. Accessible vehicles and related equipment can be rented and/or purchased.

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Speech and Language Tools

Speech and language tools enable individuals with limited or no speech to communicate. For people who also have poor visual skills, there is technology with speech output that converts writing to speech. Phone companies provide assistive technology devices and services that enables those with speech limitations to communicate by using a computer, cell phone, or regular telephone.

Hawai`i Speech to Speech
Hawai`i has a speech to speech relay service. This service allows individuals with speech limitations to use their assistive technology device (voice synthesizer, electro larynxes, etc.) when using the telephone.

Last Updated on 7/6/2012

Monday, July 15, 2024