Classification of AT Reuse Activities

Program Operations

Classification of Assistive Technology (AT) Reuse Activities


Excerpted from Webinar "A Closer Look at Exchange", May 13, 2008, by Carolyn Phillips and Joy Kniskern.

Device reutilization:  Device reutilization includes device exchange activities and device recycle/refurbish/repair activities.  It also includes open-ended device loans in which the borrower can keep the device for as long as it is needed, because these loans are considered a form of “acquisition.”

Device exchange activities are those in which devices are listed in a “want ad”-type posting and consumers can contact and arrange to obtain the device (either by purchasing it or obtaining it for free) from the current owner. Exchange activities do not involve warehousing inventory and do not include repair, sanitation, or refurbishing of used devices. In some cases, a Statewide AT Program serves as an intermediary directly involved in making this exchange, in others the consumer and current owner make this exchange without the involvement of the Statewide AT Program.

Device recycle/refurbish/repair activities are those in which devices are accepted (usually by donation) into an inventory; are repaired, sanitized, and/or refurbished as needed; and then offered for sale, loan, rental, or give away to consumers as recycled products.  Repair of devices for an individual (without the ownership of the device changing hands) are considered device recycling. (Jeremy Buzzell and Robert Groenendaal, Rehabilitation Services Administration)

The National AT Reuse Task Force has defined six activities involved in AT reuse. In the interest of consistency of understanding, programs are encouraged to adopt this language in discussing and explaining reuse activities.

Device loan:  The individual is loaned a device, perhaps for an indefinite period of time.

Device exchange:  Matches donors and users without intervention by a third party. This often takes the form of searchable databases on the Internet.

Device Reassignment/Redistributtion:  Accepts AT for sanitization, identifies appropriate users, and matches to new consumer.

Device Refurbishing:  Similar to reassignment, but in addition the program restores AT to its original configuration, which may include repairing and replacing parts.

Remanufacture:  Similar to refurbishing, but strips and builds AT to new configuration other than original manufacturer specification. (NOT recommended for AT reuse centers because of potential liability.)

Recycle:  End-of-life breakdown of AT for disposal and/or reuse in refurbishing and remanufacturing.





This work is supported under a five-year cooperative agreement # H235V060016 awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, and is administered by the Pass It On Center of the Georgia Department of Labor – Tools for Life.  However, the contents of this publication do not necessarily represent the policy or opinions of the Department of Education, or the Georgia Department of Labor, and you should not assume endorsements of this document by the Federal government or the Georgia Department of Labor.



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Other Information

Title: Classification of AT Reuse Activities
Module: Program Operations
Author: Carolyn Phillips and Joy Kniskern
Audience: Administrator
Sub Title: Definitions of reuse terms from "Exchange" Webinar
Organization Source: Pass It On Center
Last Reviewed: 08-16-2013 6:02 PM