Washington Assistive Technology Act Program
Core Function: Technical Assistance and Outreach Training
The mission of Washington Assistive Technology Act Program (WATAP) is to increase the provision of, access to, and funding for assistive technology for Washingtonians of all ages and all disabilities through a variety of comprehensive activities and services available statewide. WATAP provides Washingtonians with access to expertise that addresses AT needs in all areas of life, with particular emphasis on education, employment, and community living. We offer information to family members, employers, employment service providers, educators, health care providers, social service providers and others seeking assistive technology (AT) services and knowledge.
WATAP is part of the Center for Technology & Disability Studies (CTDS) and is guided by a consumer-majority advisory council. Partnering with CTDS staff and faculty, WATAP is able to provide hands-on demonstrations and short-term loans of assistive technology devices to help potential users make informed decisions about using such devices and related services. Additional services offered include information and referral, training, and technical assistance. The Washington Access Fund provides low interest loans to help with the purchase of assistive technology devices and services through the Assistive Technology Loan and the Business Equipment (Telework) Loan programs. The Washington Access Fund also provides a low-cost rental program for closed circuit magnification systems. Easter Seals Washington offers refurbished computers and related equipment for employment, education and independent living. WATAP also partners with Easters Seals Washington to operate a device demonstration center from their office in Spokane, Washington. The Microsoft Accessibility Resource Center is hosted by WATAP and provides access to a series of video demonstrations and text guides/tutorials that explore accessibility solutions in Microsoft Windows, Office and Internet Explorer.
WATAP and several Washington Library Systems have partnered to offer to library members the opportunity to see and try a small selection of assistive devices to help with a variety of daily tasks. Members of the Library Systems may borrow any of the devices through the Library System catalog. SETC (located at Central Washington University) and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction partner with WATAP's Device Borrowing program to provide short term loans of assistive technology to special education teachers, speech-language pathologists, and technology specialists in school districts throughout Washington State. Additionally, Washington Education Association (WEA), CTDS, and WATAP have teamed up to offer special topics courses in special education law available for WEA members, including AT for Educators, and Transition to Postsecondary Life.
email for more information: Online AT Discussion Forum