The Pass It On Center: A National Collaboration for the Reutilization and Coordination of Assistive Technology
Behind every reused AT device, there is a story to be told, a dream being realized, a goal being met.
Assistive Technology (AT) reutilization is a concept that is born out of need. From local grassroots efforts, it has grown to become a nationally recognized response to providing AT to those people who would otherwise “go without”. We have witnessed the power and independence AT brings to the individuals who have participated in many programs committed to the intelligent reutilization of assistive technology. We have also experienced the incredible frustration of knowing that efforts to assist more people have been limited because of the lack of understanding about reuse programs.
The Pass It On Center will respond to this unmet need by coordinating national collaborative on AT reuse programs that will provide multi-faceted information on best practices, a national database and home page, a coordinated plan to respond to natural disasters, and a National Pass It OnTask Force. The Task Force will galvanize the involvement and support of new AT grantees, key stakeholders, and individuals with disabilities to work on issues of national importance concerning reutilization of AT such as transportation, vendor and manufacturers roles, and national coordination initiatives. Over the five year grant period, The National Pass It on Center is poised to:
- provide coordination and support in the event of natural disasters to assure that reutilized assistive technology can reach those who need it quickly.
- provide telephone and email technical assistance through its Rapid Response Solutions Desk to various request.
- establish national transportation and electronic networks for the well-coordinated distribution of reutilized AT
The Georgia Assistive Technology Project ~ Tools for Life, of the Georgia Institute of Technology, is the most qualified program in the country to take on this crucial role because its national leadership since the late 1990’s in AT reutilization. The RESNA Technical Assistance Project involved Tools for Life as a major player in efforts regarding three conferences on the reuse of AT held in 1998, 2000, and 2006, and in tours of internationally acclaimed reutilization initiatives: computer technology and durable medical equipment reutilization through ReBoot Computer Depot and Friends of Disabled Adults and Children, Too.
The Pass It On Center has secured commitments of collaboration from major public and private, state and national partners to achieve the vision of establishing a national AT Reutilization collaborative. These partners share in the excitement of creating, expanding, strengthening and coordinating our efforts through national initiatives that will assist more people with disabilities gain access to and acquisition of reused assistive technology across the United States.