For 12 years, Congress has recognized the importance of supporting activities that increase access to assistive technologies, first through the Tech Act in 1988 and then through The Assistive Technology Act of 1998 (ATA). The ATA has helped millions of people with disabilities have access to assistive technology through a number of programs. Unfortunately, a phase-out provision in the ATA will eliminate the original nine states with existing state assistive technology projects by October 2001 if Congress does not act before then.
A proposed amendment would extend funding for another year for the assistive technology projects in these nine states. The nine states that are on the verge of losing funding for their assistive technology projects are: Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska and Utah. The following year, 14 more states will be eliminated and so on until all states' assistive technology projects are eliminated.
Currently, letters are being sent by national disability organizations encouraging Congress to pass an amendment, and each organization is asking their affiliates to write letters to their Senators and Representatives urging them to pass an amendment. You can join this effort by using the Legislative Action Center.