Topic Number2.3.2Effective DateJuly 1, 2012
ProcedureAssistive Technology (AT) Procurement & Loan Use for Clients
Purpose
  • To centrally manage and coordinate, through the WWRC Assistive Computer Technology (ACT) Loaner Library Program, AT resources and services that are shared across the Center for client evaluation and skill development.
  • To document guiding principles and written procedures for AT procurement and use through the WWRC ACT Loaner Library Program.
Accountability Indicators
  • The WWRC ACT Loaner Library Program operates in an efficient and effective manner, resulting in maximum organizational cost savings. 
  • WWRC employees understand and properly apply the guiding principles and procedural guidelines in this governance procedure, resulting in quality consumer access to AT for evaluation and instructional purposes.
Policy ReferenceN/A
Detailed Governance ReferenceN/A
Executive Staff ContactBarb Ostrander, WWRC Division Director, Medical Rehabilitation Services

 

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Definitions

  • Assistive Technology (AT) refers to any item, piece of equipment or system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is commonly used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. AT is compensatory in nature, person-focused, and is typically designed to "travel with the person".  AT products enable people with disabilities to accomplish daily living tasks, assist in communication, and/or access basic education, work, or recreation services to enhance employment outcomes, independence, and quality of life. 
  • Instructional Technology refers to a growing field of study which uses technology as a means to solve educational challenges, both in the classroom and in distance learning environments. AT is a form of instructional technology when the technology is used, customized or altered to address a specific disability-related need.

 

Governance Procedures
 
This governance procedure provides a set of written standards and expectations governing collaboration across WWRC programs and services for shared access and use of AT/hand-held/tablet devices and applications that directly benefit enrolled clients during their WWRC stay through evaluation/instructional processes and skill development applications. This governance procedure is not intended to replace or supplant Agency policy for procurement of AT devices or durable medical equipment purchased for individual client use that will remain with the client post-WWRC services (DRS Field Rehabilitative Services (FRS) Policy and Procedure Manual). The governance procedure solely covers management of the AT and hand-held devices and use of applications while the device/applications are "on loan" in WWRC medical, vocational, and/or residential programs for client evaluation and skill development.

 

The WWRC ACT Program Computer Systems Engineer (CSE), reporting to the Director, WWRC Occupational Therapy, has lead accountability for implementation of this governance procedure and provides specialized expertise, technical assistance and program consultation for WWRC staff and clients in assistive computer, hand-held and tablet technology applications, and system compatibilities. The WWRC ACT Program CSE also provides training of WWRC staff in new product applications prior to distribution of loaned equipment and devices for client use. 

 

Assistive Computer Technology (ACT) Loaner Library Program:  Access and Use Protocols

Guiding Principles  

The WWRC ACT Program houses and serves as the centralized hub for acquisition, storage, maintenance, and loaner use of all computer-related AT and hand-held/tablet technology hardware and software used in the WWRC environment by WWRC clients for evaluation, instruction, and compensatory skill development.   Benefits of this process include:

    • Consolidated and streamlined purchasing operations with centralized expertise in the management and use of educational-discount volume licensing agreements, in combination with prevailing Agency procurement policies governing client-related technologies, resulting in organizational cost savings and more efficient management of software applications.
    • Organizational efficiencies realized through the shared loaning of AT and hand-held/tablet hardware and software to WWRC clients across programs and services on an "as needed basis" to enhance employment outcomes, independence, and quality of life.
    • Enhanced accountability for use of continuously maintained and updated AT and hand-held/tablet hardware and software that avoids duplication across WWRC services and programs, facilitates the consistent use of current versions, ensures compatibility with current applications/operating systems, and documents the appropriateness of AT to accomplish desired outcomes. 

 

Costs associated with the purchase, upgrade, and replacement of AT and hand-held/tablet hardware and software are expected to be shared across WWRC services and programs through a centralized annual budget managed by the WWRC ACT Loaner Library.
 

Procedural Guidelines

It is an established "best practice" that an ACT evaluation be conducted for WWRC clients by the assigned CSE and/or designated AT Team Specialists to determine "fit‟ and benefit of assistive computer technologies and related applications prior to an AT Loaner Library request.

For clients actively enrolled in a short or long-term WWRC program, the AT, hand-held/tablet hardware and/or software loan will be made available as soon as possible and the rehabilitation team will be notified, through the assigned Rehabilitation Counselor, of the loan and established time period. 

The WWRC ACT Program CSE is accountable for the following functions: 

    • Management of the centralized ACT annual budget, within approved supervisory approval authority and controls, for all purchase requisitions requested by WWRC programs and services related to procurement of AT hardware and software for client loaner use, including hand-held/tablet technologies, applications, and device accessories.
    • Establishment and maintenance of a single organizational Master Account educational-discount volume licensing purchasing account for hand-held/tablet technology applications, to be centrally synched to the volume application account for simultaneous use on multiple devices across WWRC programs and services.
    • Management of and updates for new and existing hand-held/tablet technologies.
    • Tracking, delivery, set-up and initial training of loaned AT, hand-held/tablet hardware, and software.

 

The time period for all AT, hand-held/tablet hardware, and software loans will be determined and agreed upon at the time of the loan. During the loan period, the WWRC ACT Program CSE will solicit feedback from the client and WWRC staff to determine the appropriateness of the AT hardware or software for final recommendations to the DRS Field Counselor. If at that time:

The hardware and/or software is determined to be appropriate, the CSE will forward final recommendations to the DRS Field Counselor, along with specific ordering information. Once the equipment arrives, the CSE will arrange to install/set-up the equipment and uninstall/retrieve the loaned hardware and/or software.  

If the loaned hardware and/or software is not providing the desired results, the CSE will recommend alternative equipment for a trial loaner period. If, through the course of multiple loans and trainings, specific equipment can not be identified as beneficial, a follow-up computer/AT evaluation should be conducted.