Happy New Year!
ABLE Tech wishes you and your organization a Happy and Healthy New Year! We look forward to a continued and successful 2021 partnership in providing needed assistive technology (AT) for Oklahomans with disabilities.
Save The Dates!
Partner Meeting: March 10, 2021, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
ABLE Tech will host the semi-annual partner meeting virtually on March 10, 2021 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. It is required that at least one person from each partner organization attend, but partners are welcome to invite anyone who would benefit from the AT information to be provided. Please mark your calendars and more details will follow.
Advisory Council Zoom Meeting: January 27, 2021, 9:30 a.m.
The virtual, quarterly ABLE Tech Advisory Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 27th from 9:30 am to noon. Federal Fiscal Year 2021 1st quarter activities and reports for all ABLE Tech programs will be shared.
As a valued partner, you are always welcome to join and learn more about ABLE Tech’s statewide initiatives. We hope to see you there!
New CDFI Funds for Financial Loan Products
The Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation (OkAT)/ABLE Tech was one of 357 organizations receiving $187.3 million in awards. These funds will allow OkAT/ABLE Tech to offer additional, affordable financial products and services that meet the unique needs of economically underserved communities. Specifically, OkAT was awarded $350,000 in Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Financial Assistance (FA) funds and $150,000 in CDFI Disability Funds (DF)-FA for a total of $500,000 through the U.S. Department of Treasury. These funds will be deployed over the next 3 full fiscal years.
The FA funds will be used for the Financial Loan Program to implement new products. OkAT/ABLE Tech will expand the micro-loan product and implement a home modification product. The DF-FA funds have the flexibility to be used for products to individuals with disabilities in general. Congratulations to OkAT and ABLE Tech!
Spotlight on Success
The SoonerStart Early Intervention Program partners with Oklahoma ABLE Tech to provide assistive technology (AT) to infants and toddlers, birth to three, with disabilities. ABLE Tech provides AT to SoonerStart teams in the form of assessment kits. SoonerStart uses these kits when working with families. The goal is to increase access to and acquisition of AT that may benefit children with disabilities in the SoonerStart program.
SoonerStart providers have excelled using teletherapy to perform home visits during the COVID–19 pandemic. During virtual therapy sessions, providers and families have been working creatively to engage these young children to meet individual goals. Low-tech AT has been a hit allowing providers to get inventive with tasks and activities that families can recreate.
Here is Henry working on gross motor development and sensory aversions. Henry and his mother are engaging cleverly with an occupational therapist using low-tech AT found around the home to promote Henry's development. Henry has been busy developing skills for crawling and is making great strides!
New Assistive Technology ALERT:
OrCam Read is ideal for people with mild low vision, reading fatigue, reading difficulties including dyslexia, and for anyone who consumes large amounts of text. It is the first-ever lightweight, handheld device with a smart camera that seamlessly reads text from any printed surface or digital screen.
The OrCam Read enables individuals with vision impairments to enjoy the morning paper, read any book and even read all that appears on the computer or smartphone screen. This device also has “Full Page Capture”: Unlike all other devices where you must scan line-by-line, OrCam Read captures full pages and screens at once. It has Bluetooth-enabled connectivity for use with headphones or speakers. It is easy to use with just a point and click and does not require internet.
Winbridge Wireless Voice Amplifier is a portable Bluetooth speaker system. It is great for teachers, meetings, training, and other settings where the person speaking needs to be heard, or for soft-spoken individuals who need assistance projecting their voice to be heard.
It is portable, rechargeable, and comes with a headset microphone and second cordless microphone for guest speakers or pass-around microphone options. The output speaker is small enough to be worn around the neck with a lanyard but able to transmit 150 feet.