Technology Legislative Agenda for the 112th Congress (2011-2012)
Many people with disabilities could benefit from accessible technology, assistive and otherwise, to maintain independent lives and maximize health options. Advances in technologies will continue to affect the lives of people in dramatic ways. These technologies can be readily available from a variety of program funding sources. The 112th Congress should facilitate access to new technology from all sources to support the independence, inclusion, and community participation of people with disabilities.
In particular, the Assistive Technology Act (ATA) of 2004 called for new approaches on the part of programs authorized under the Act to assure that people with disabilities and their families are able to access the assistive technology they need. Funding of the ATA is key to making progress.
The 112th Congress should:
- Ensure that people with disabilities have information about and access to affordable, useable technology to support and enhance their lives;
- Reauthorize and fully fund all of the provisions of the Assistive Technology Act of 2004:
State Grant Programs – Provide sufficient appropriations to bring every state and territorial program to at least the “minimum allotment” level as defined in the 2004 reauthorization, and, for affected state programs, restore funding that has been lost in recent years.
Alternative Financing Program – Increase funding for the programs to enable individuals with disabilities to purchase Assistive Technology devices and services through financial loans.
- Protection and Advocacy – Provide sufficient appropriations to ensure viable Protection and Advocacy for Assistive Technology services in each state and territory;
- National Technical Assistance – Provide sufficient funding to ensure quality technical assistance to each state and territorial program; and
- Research and Development – Provide sufficient appropriations to support a meaningful level of research and development of assistive technology devices and standards.
Legislative Agenda Partners
We are national organizations that serve and advocate for people with intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities. We work together to shape, expand, and protect a strong federal role that provides vital benefits, services and supports and assures civil rights for our constituency.