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Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs

Assistive Technology (AT) Act Section 6 Overview

Section 6 of the AT Act authorizes five national activities, two discretionary and three required.

(1) National Public Awareness Toolkit (discretionary)

This section authorizes a national training and technical assistance program that expands public awareness efforts through accessible multimedia in coordination with State AT Program. This section has never received appropriations and has not been implemented.

(2) Research and Development (discretionary)

This section authorizes research and development of assistive technology including development of standards for interoperability and new AT product development. This section has never received appropriations and has not been implemented.

(3) State Training and Technical Assistance (mandatory)

This section authorizes general training and technical assistance for grantees funded under Section 4 (State AT Programs) and Section 5 (Protection and Advocacy for AT - PAAT). The training and technical assistance is focused on the Sections 4 and 5 required activities including development/submission of the State Plan for AT outlining each grantee plan for implementation of the required activities. This section has been implemented since the law passed in 2004.

(4) National Information Internet System (mandatory)

This section authorizes a National Public Internet Site for assistive technology with resources and links to information about AT devices/services and has been implemented since 2004.

(5) Data Collection and Reporting Assistance (mandatory)

This section authorizes targeted training and technical assistance to assist Section 4 grantees and the administrative agency for the AT Act develop and effectively implement a data-collection and reporting system for the Annual Progress Report as is required for each fiscal year by the AT Act. This section has been implemented since the law passed in 2004.

Current Status

In 2005, the three mandatory grants were awarded to three separate organizations. ATAP was the grantee for the Data Collection and Reporting Assistance award (project name National Information System for AT or NISAT). In 2010, there were again three awards to three separate organizations and ATAP is an equal partner with the Institute for Community Inclusion in the Data Collection and Reporting Assistance award (project name CATADA).

With the transfer to ACL and based on input from AT Act grantees, a restructuring of the Section 6 national projects was implemented. The funding allocation to the Data Collection and Reporting Assistance grantee was increased to address the needs for online data system development and maintenance. The funding allocation for training and technical assistance for Section 5 PAAT grantees was transferred to the existing grant for training and technical assistance for Protection and Advocacy agencies as administered by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. And the State Training and Technical Assistance and National Information Internet System grants were combined.