The Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative (DATI) is a program of the Center for Disabilities Studies at the University of Delaware. DATI connects Delawareans who have disabilities with the tools they need in order to learn, work, play and participate in community life safely and independently.
DATI Services Include
- Equipment demonstration center (Assistive Technology Resource Center) in each county
- No-cost, short-term equipment loans that let you “try before you buy”
- Equipment Exchange Program (AT “want ads”)
- AT workshops and other training sessions
- Advocacy for improved AT access policies and funding
- Informational material in a variety of formats
- Quarterly newsletter
- Technical assistance regarding device selection, device operation, and access to funding
- Participation in conferences, community meetings, and health fairs
The Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative’s (DATI) endeavors to improve access to assistive technology for all Delawareans with disabilities.
DATI’s services are available to all residents of Delaware. There are no eligibility limitations, other than Delaware residency. We address the needs of infants through older persons with all types of disabling conditions. With the exception of some training events, most DATI services are provided at no cost.
DATI’s administrative headquarters is located in Newark at the Center for Disabilities Studies, which is part of the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Delaware. Please contact the DATI Central Site regarding upcoming DATI events, funding information and AT advocacy and policies.
Assistive Technology Resource Centers (ATRCs):
DATI has an ATRC in each of Delaware’s three counties. These centers are barrier-free, open to the public and contain examples of all types of AT. Highly-qualified Assistive Technology Specialists are available to demonstrate equipment and help identify technology options for a given need. Most of the equipment is available for a two-week loan period, enabling users to “try before they buy.” To ensure personalized attention to your needs, it is recommended that you call in advance to make an appointment. There is no charge for this service.
For questions regarding equipment demonstrations and loans, personal AT options, or to speak with an AT specialist, contact your local ATRC.
- Improve access to assistive technology devices and services for children in Delaware through the state’s early intervention and public education systems.
- Support the development of a range of options for acquiring/financing AT devices and services that consumers might pursue independent of state agencies or programs.
- Improve access to AT devices and services for eligible individuals with disabilities through the Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.
- Improve coverage for, and timely acquisition of, AT devices and services through public and private medical insurance.
- Increase the availability and use of AT among older citizens.
- Improve the accessibility of facilities, equipment and services in the public and private sectors.
- Improve access to AT devices and services for individuals with mental retardation through the Delaware Division of Developmental Disabilities Services.
- Increase the empowerment of consumers in technology selection and acquisition.
- Increase the empowerment of consumers and skill level of providers through the operation of an information-and-referral program.
- Increase the empowerment of consumers, the awareness of the entire community and the skill level of providers through a multifaceted outreach and training agenda.
History and Sponsors
DATI began operation in 1991 with funding from the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988. This legislation, known as the Tech Act, intended that all states and territories would have programs to increase citizens’ awareness of and access to AT. In 1994, Congress reauthorized the Act and emphasized that programs should work toward eliminating barriers to AT access for their constituents. The Assistive Technology Act of 1998 continued support for state AT programs, but reduced the amount of funding available after the program's eighth year of operation. The most recent authorization of the AT Act requires state AT programs to provide alternative financing for the purchase or lease of equipment, training and technical support for equipment, short-term loans of equipment, referrals for repairs and servicing of equipment, demonstration of equipment, and referrals for evaluation and assessment.
To enable the DATI to maintain its current services and to meet new and growing demands, it must constantly secure additional sources of support. Funding from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has been instrumental in creating the architecture for a statewide AT access infrastructure, including this Website. The State of Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council has provided key support as DATI has sought to improve AT access for individuals with cognitive disabilities. The Delaware Department of Education has supported several education-related initiatives. The Delaware Division of Developmental Disabilities Services and the Delaware Department of Education have supported the purchase of new equipment for the DATI Assistive Technology Resource Centers. Many other agencies and organizations have contributed to DATI activities by sharing the expertise of their personnel and assisting with distribution of materials through their communication channels.
We are most grateful to all who have made the DATI’s operation possible.