Assistive Technology

DRM provides advocacy assistance to individuals who seek assistive technology services and devices in order to be more independent in their everyday lives.  This includes in the home, workplace, the community and at school.

An AT device “means any item, piece of equipment, or product system whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.” 29 USC 3002(a)(3). The term “AT device” certainly covers a range of equipment to overcome limitations to mobility (wheelchairs, scooters, walkers), sight (optical scanning devices, Braille printers), speaking (speech generating devices), and hearing (hearing aids, cochlear implants). It also includes adaptations to everyday items, like hand controls on a car or an adapted computer keyboard. -- From Neighborhood Legal Services

 DRM's Recent Work

DRM Assists Student with Obtaining Assistive Technology

The parent of an 11 year old student with an intellectual disability contacted DRM because she had not been provided the text-to-voice technology necessary for her to access the general education curriculum.  DRM assisted the parent with information about requesting AT at an IEP team meeting and the parent was able to secure agreement to the provision of text-to-speech technology.

DRM Intervention Leads to MaineCare Approval of Prostheses

A 49 year old man who is a bilateral lower extremity amputee contacted DRM seeking MaineCare coverage for replacement prostheses that had been prescribed by his medical providers but his request for prior authorization had been denied. DRM informed MaineCare that we were representing the client, and asked the prosthetic provider to resubmit the application with additional information to support the request. After re-submission, the request for prior authorization was approved.

 Resources

DOJ Guidance

In December 2017, the US Dept. of Justice rescinded 25 guidance documents.  Shortly thereafter, the New York Times archived these documents and made them available on the cloud. 

Below is the list of documents that are available for viewing by clicking the link below:

  1. ATF Procedure 75-4. 
  2. Industry Circular 75-10. 
  3. ATF Ruling 85-3. 
  4. Industry Circular 85-3. 
  5. ATF Ruling 2001-1. 
  6. ATF Ruling 2004-1.
  7. Southwest Border Prosecution Initiative Guidelines (2013).  
  8. Northern Border Prosecution Initiative Guidelines (2013).  
  9. Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grants Program Guidance Manual (2007). 
  10. Advisory for Recipients of Financial Assistance from the U.S. Department of Justice on Levying Fines and Fees on Juveniles (January 2017). 
  11. Dear Colleague Letter on Enforcement of Fines and Fees (March 2016). 
  12. ADA Myths and Facts (1995).
  13. Common ADA Problems at Newly Constructed Lodging Facilities (November 1999).
  14. Title II Highlights (last updated 2008).
  15. Title III Highlights (last updated 2008).
  16. Commonly Asked Questions About Service Animals in Places of Business (July 1996).
  17. ADA Business Brief: Service Animals (April 2002). 
  18. Prior Joint Statement of the Department of Justice and the Department of Housing and Urban Development Group Homes, Local Land Use, and the Fair Housing Act (August 18, 1999). 
  19. Letter to Alain Baudry, Esq., with standards for conducting internal audit in a non-discriminatory fashion (December 4, 2009). 
  20. Letter to Esmeralda Zendejas on how to determine whether lawful permanent residents are protected against citizenship status discrimination (May 30, 2012). 
  21. Common ADA Errors and Omissions in New Construction and Alterations (June 1997). 
  22. Common Questions: Readily Achievable Barrier Removal and Design Details: Van Accessible Parking Spaces (August 1996). 
  23. Website guidance on bailing-out procedures under section 4(b) and section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (2004).  
  24. Americans with Disabilities Act Questions and Answers (May 2002).
  25. Statement of the Department of Justice on Application of the Integration Mandate of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Olmstead v. L.C. to State and Local Governments' Employment Service Systems for Individuals with Disabilities (October 31, 2016).


New York Times, December 2017

The Promise of Assistive Technology to Enhance Activity and Work Participation

"With support from the Social Security Administration, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened an ad hoc, expert committee to provide an analysis of the use in adults of selected assistive products and technologies, within four categories including, wheeled and seated mobility devices, upper-extremity prostheses, hearing devices, and communication and speech technologies. In The Promise of Assistive Technology to Enhance Activity and Work Participation, the committee describes the range of available products and technologies in each of these categories and examines how they may mitigate the effects of impairments and the extent to which they may help enable people with disabilities to enter or return to the workforce."

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, May 9, 2017

What Families Need to Know About Accessible Instructional Materials

Recorded on August 26, "What Families Need to Know About Accessible Instructional Materials" was an hour-long discussion about students who have trouble reading materials, such as textbooks and workbooks due to a "print disability."

In the opening presentation by Cynthia Curry, we discussed how to determine if your student has a "print disability" and how Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) may help. We also spent time with the "microphones open" allowing participants to ask questions and discuss details.

Maine CITE Coordinating Center, August 26, 2015

A Basic Guide to Self-Advocacy

This manual is intended to provide a simple yet informative overview of how to be a self-advocate. This manual is not a substitute for legal advice. If you have specific questions or need assistance with a particular issue, please contact Disability Rights Maine.