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Assistive Tech

TechOWL 

TechOWL (Technology for Our Whole Lives) is a statewide assistive technology program and is the Commonwealth's Assistive Technology Act Program at the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, funded through a grant from the Administration on Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. TechOWL is LVCIL's partner in offering assistive technology (AT) services and LVCIL is representing TechOWL in our region. 

 

AT is defined as any item, device, or piece of equipment used to maintain or improve the functionality of people with disabilities, allowing them to be more independent in education, employment, recreation, and daily living activities. AT includes the services necessary to get and use the devices, such as assessment, customization, repair, and training. 

 

Assistive technology includes devices, applications, and software that are accessible to all. This includes telephones, smart phones, cell phones, computers and computer networks, satellite systems, televisions, radios, and any product that will store, retrieve, manipulate, transmit or receive information digitally. It can also include non-technological devices, such as eyeglasses, wheelchair transfer boards, pencil grips, or adaptive cooking equipment.  

 

For more information on any of the following programs or services, call Katie Krum at 610-770-9781 x 123 or email atinfo@lvcil.org. 

 

LVCIL is an Assistive Technology Resource Center (ATRC) for TechOWL for the following counties: 

  • Berks 

  • Carbon 

  • Lehigh 

  • Luzerne 

  • Monroe 

  • Northampton 

  • Schuylkill 

TechOWL's programs can help you access the assistive technology you need to live or work more independently. 

Assistive Technology Lending Library (ATLL)  

LVCIL's staff can help you sign up for a TechOWL library card so you can start borrowing different types of assistive devices, such as communication devices, software, iPads, adaptive utensils, mounts for various AT, etc. 

The loan period per device is 30-days but extensions are available. You must sign up on TechOWL to borrow a device from the lending library. 

 

The services LVCIL provides through TechOWL include: 

 

On-Site AT Library 

LVCIL has a limited supply of on-site assistive devices available to borrow, including amplified telephones, ringers, CapTel, TTY, and more. TTY is a special device that lets people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired use the telephone to communicate, by allowing them to type messages back and forth to one another instead of talking and listening. A TTY is required at both ends of the conversation in order to communicate. 

 

The loan period per device is 28-days but extensions are available. 

 

Reused Devices 

LVCIL has various assistive devices and medical equipment looking for a good home! The devices available include amplified telephones, switches, ringers, CapTel, commodes, canes, walkers, wheelchairs, scooters, and more. 

Offered on a first-come, first-served basis. 

  

Information and Assistance 

  • We provide information and/or referrals about anything related to assistive technology. AT is any item, device, or piece of equipment used to maintain or improve the functionality of people with disabilities, allowing them to be more independent in education, employment, recreation, and daily living activities. AT includes the services necessary to get and use the devices, including assessment, customization, repair, and training. 

Public Awareness 

  • We offer outreach and general presentations about TechOWL’s programs and services. These presentations can be tailored to any group, event, or outreach setting. We also attend various expos, resource fairs, and conferences year-round.  

Training and Technical Assistance 

  • We offer various trainings about AT to businesses, non-profits, organizations, and other groups as requested. Trainings can be tailored to meet your time constraints and other needs. Some of the most requested topics are Assistive Technology and Employment, and Information and Community Technology: Microsoft Office Accessibility. 

Device Demonstrations  

  • We offer demonstrations of various devices which can allow you to compare the features and benefits of a particular AT device or category of devices in order to make an informed choice. Participants can be shown a variety of devices. 

 

LVCIL also provides the special phone program through its partnership with TechOWL: 

 

Free Special Phone Program 

If you are hard of hearing, you may qualify to receive an amplified telephone through TechOWL’s Free Special Phone program. The qualifications are: 

  • You must be a Pennsylvania resident with a disability or disabilities that prevent you from making and/or receiving phone calls independently; 

  • Be six years of age or older; 

  • Have individual gross income of 200% of the federal poverty level or less; 

  • Have current telephone service; and 

  • Have the ability to learn how to use the requested device(s) 

If you can answer YES to ALL of the above questions, you may be eligible for free equipment. 

 

Financing Through PATF 

Want to purchase your assistive tech but don't know how?  

LVCIL has partnered with the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF), a nonprofit organization that provides low- and no-interest loans to qualifying individuals so that they can buy the devices they need.  

There is an application process and specific requirements. 

For information, visit www.patf.us. 

 

 

 

TechOWL Logo - Pennsylvania's Assistive Technology Lending Library

 

Different types of assistive technology available at LVCIL

 

Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) Logo - Low or no interest loans

 

For info, contact Katie Krum at 610-770-9781 x 123 or email atinfo@lvcil.org