submitted by Nikol Prieto
In 2007 Easterseals Crossroads partnered with the State of Indiana- Bureau of Rehabilitative Services to establish The Indiana Assistive Technology Act (INDATA) Project. The INDATA Project is one of 56 similar federally funded projects designed to increase access and awareness of assistive technology.
“The term “assistive technology 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 the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.”
–Assistive Technology Act of 1998
To increase access and awareness, the INDATA Project provides
- information and referral
- funding assistance
- public awareness and education
- device demonstration
- device loan
- reutilized computer and equipment reutilization
The INDATA Project spreads the word about assistive technology through full-day trainings, YouTube videos, podcasts and social media. We hold 4 full-day trainings per year and have produced over 400 tech tip videos that have had over 411,000 views. We use social media channels to post 5 blog posts each week that are pushed out through platforms such as Twitter (with 3K followers) and Facebook (with over 950 followers). We also spread the word about assistive technology at public events with a presence at 40-50 events throughout the year and we present at 10-20 universities throughout the state of Indiana. We now have 3 podcasts and those podcasts get an average of 10,000 downloads a month where they are heard in 165 countries.
The INDATA Project has increased access to assistive technology through device demonstration, equipment loans and computer reutilization with an average of 176 demonstrations per year and over 1100 device loans per year. Device loans help people make educated decisions about what type of technology is the most useful for them prior to purchasing equipment. The program gives away almost 200 reutilized computers yearly to people who have a disability, live in the state of Indiana and who could not afford a computer.
The INDATA Project is proud of all we have accomplished in the 10 years we have had the grant. Daily, we see how assistive technology is improving the lives of people with disabilities and we look forward to continuing to spread awareness and increase access to as many Hoosiers as possible.
Happy Anniversary to our INDATA Project staff members who include:
- Wade Wingler, Vice President of Technology
- Brian Norton, Director of AT
- Nikol Prieto, Community Outreach Coordinator
- June White, Administrative Assistant
- Laura Medcalf, Social Media Content Specialist
- Justin Amber, Equipment Lending Specialist
- Steve Carter, Equipment Assistant
- Alvin Alviar, ReUse Coordinator
- Tracy Castillo, ReUse Technician