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8.20 REHABILITATION TECHNOLOGY

Introduction

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended in 1998, places increased emphasis on rehabilitation technology as a means to assist individuals in achieving their vocational objectives. The following definitions are based on the 1998 amendments and the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 (29 U.S.C. 2202).

Policy

NYSCB provides rehabilitation technology services to assist consumers to:

1. participate in the rehabilitation process,

2. achieve and maintain suitable employment.

Definition: Rehabilitation Technology

Rehabilitation technology refers to the systematic application of technologies, engineering, methodologies, or scientific principles to meet the needs of, and address the barriers confronted by, individuals with disabilities. These services may address needs in the areas of education, rehabilitation, employment, transportation, and independent living. The term includes:

1. assistive technology devices and services

2. rehabilitation engineering.

Definition: Assistive Technology

Assistive technology means any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device, including:

1. evaluation of the needs of an individual with a disability

2. purchasing, leasing or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices

3. selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology devices

4. coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices.

5. training or technical assistance for an individual with a disability (or others, as appropriate, e.g. family members)

6. training or technical assistance for professionals, employers, or others as necessary to the achievement of an employment outcome by an individual with a disability.

Definition, Assistive Technology Devices

Assistive technology devices refers to those aids, appliances and devices that assist individuals who are blind to perform certain functions or activities. Devices may range from conventional assistive devices which are usually low-tech in nature, to high-tech which are microcomputer based.

Assistive Technology Evaluation

To determine the appropriate low-tech or high-tech device(s) for use by a consumer, the counselor will arrange to have an evaluation conducted by an appropriate professional(s). Upon completion of the evaluation, the counselor will be provided with a recommendation for those assistive devices appropriate to his or her needs.

Rehabilitation Engineering

Rehabilitation engineering means the systematic application of engineering sciences to design, develop, adapt, test, evaluate, apply, and distribute technological solutions to problems confronted by individuals with disabilities. Functional areas addressed through rehabilitation engineering may include mobility, communications, hearing, vision, and cognition, and activities associated with employment, independent living, education, and integration into the community.