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Assistive technology sourcebook.


This is a doorway to assistive technology resources. It will help you get started in finding the information you need to obtain appropriate technological support. The Sourcebook contains a wealth of information for everyone involved with providing or using assistive technology. But, despite the fact that it is a huge directory, you must remember that it is just the beginning. Once you step through the door and start talking with others in the field, you will find many more resources both locally and in other parts of the country.

It's wonderful that there are so many places to get help. But it is easy to become overwhelmed with all these information sources. We have tried to provide you with strategies throughout the book for finding what you need. Most of them are topic specific, but have generalizable principles. Look in the Index for "Information seeking strategies, Developing search strategies." You may want to read through several of them, and then think about the approach that will work best for you.

Information is always a two-way street. Ask for what you need, and let people know what you know. That's how you develop a network. False humility has no place in information exchange. We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to let other people know what kinds of expertise and experience you have. This is especially true for consumers. Professionals need to start seeing individuals with disabilities as information resources, as information producers, as experts in independent living. And there is no way for them to gain that understanding unless individuals with functional limitations start telling professionals about all the ways they have solved everyday problems. For those professionals who are on the cutting edge of technology application (e.g., work place adaptation for individuals with traumatic brain injury) you may have to accept the fact that you are a primary resource, and it is time for you to start documenting and dissemination your experiences.

The Sourcebook reflects the growth of the field of assistive technology service delivery. This edition, though built on the previous versions is essentially a brand new book. It doubled in size as it grew from the Technology for Independent Living Resource Guide (1982), to the Technology for Independent Living Sourcebook (1984), and doubles again to Assistive Technology Sourcebook (1989). The book, reflecting the field, clarifies issues and reorganizes how we think about and practice both state of the art and grassroots services. We have greatly expanded the section "Resources for Matching Technology to an Individual's Needs." Issues related to assessment, functional outcome measures, quality assurance, etc. are rapidly coming to the forefront of service delivery program issues. Reimbursement has always been important, but now especially in health care models, is driving most of the system. A new section, "Ensuring Technology Reaches Those Who Can Benefit From It," demonstrates how important service delivery has become. With some reservation we reorganized the information on personal computer applications, inserting it as appropriate into the application areas such as employment, education, environmental control. Don't worry; for those of you regular folks who are still computer novices, we retained the introductory information on accessing computers in Chapter 14. The book has always had a functional orientation, and has steered away from dividing information disability categories. I would like to see the Sourcebook become the Whole Earth Catalog to assistive technology.

Providers and consumers alike are becoming more sophisticated and more aware of assistive technology and the benefits it can provide. The new federally sponsored state grant program for assistive technology services has a strong emphasis on information and outreach activities (see Chapter 16). The Sourcebook will be developing along with you. Expect to see a series of books starting in 1991, with separate documents for each of the sections and chapters of this current compendium Sourcebook. The Sourcebook has proven to be a dynamic document. We hope you will let us know what works and what doesn't. Your suggestions will help us make future editions even more useful.

Alexandra Enders, O.T.R. and Marian Hall, O.T.R., RESNA Press, Suite 700, 1101 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036, (202) 857-1199. 576 pages, $60.00.
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Title Annotation:excerpt
Author:Enders, Alexandria; Hall, Marian
Publication:The Exceptional Parent
Date:Jun 1, 1990
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