Posted by ICAN on January 17, 2003 at 22:17:39:
In Reply to: How to successfully implement assistive technology? posted by D. Gerard on January 20, 2002 at 20:53:03:
ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY...WHERE DO I GO? WHAT DO I DO?
Source: ICAN (Increasing Capabilities Access Network)
Are you thinking that technology could improve your life? Do you need an adaptive piece of equipment for your home, work, or mobility? Has something changed in your life causing you to reconsider how you do things?
These are the beginning questions that may lead you to considering having an assistive technology assessment. Three other questions are sure to follow...
* WHERE DO I GO?
* HOW DO I REQUEST IT?
* HOW DO I PAY FOR IT?
Depending on your needs and requirements, there is a lot "homework" you want to do before you commit to an assistive technology assessment.
First, you want to have a clear idea of the ultimate outcome of the assessment. Do you want a better means of mobility? A more efficient means of communication? An adapted device for your job? A modified household utensil?
Second, you want to be sure whoever does the assessment has the capability to give you a complete and accurate assessment. Ask around for suggestions of who can give a good assessment for what you need. Ask your rehabilitation counselor, ask your case worker, ask your friends, ask your physician.
After you have acquired a list of a few agencies that may be able to provide the type of evaluation you want, make a phone call interview the potential assessor. Tell them what you want from the evaluation and then get some information from them.
Some of the questions you will want to ask may include:
* What experience do you have in this type of assessment:
(Years experience, credentials, references, etc.)
* What is the charge for the assessment?
(Flat rate, hourly rate)
* What type of funding is available for this assessment?
(Medicaid, insurance, private pay, EPSDT...they will know all the potential funding sources because their livelihood depends on it.)
* How long will the assessment take?
(One hour, one visit, multiple visits, etc.)
* How long before the report is written?
(Immediate feedback before exiting, one week for typed report, etc.)
* What type of follow-up assistance do you provide if I follow your recommendations?
( Will you check any equipment ordered? Will you train in the usage? Will you make any adjustments? Will this cost extra?)
* Is satisfaction guaranteed?
(Do you do it until you get it right?)
* How do I arrange for this assessment?
(Do you require a doctors prescription?)
(What information do I need to provide before the assessment?)
(How do I set an appointment?)
The final step is to arrange for the assessment with the agency you feel will best meet your needs and give you what you require. There are no guarantees that even with hours and hours of researching all potential agencies that you will get the exact information you had hoped for. Remember...you have the final say on whether the recommendations are worth pursuing. If you have to think about it twice..it's worth thinking about a third, fourth, and fifth time. Professional opinions are just opinions, you have to live with the decisions.
YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES IN MAKING DECISIONS INCLUDE:
* Making your needs known by preferences, age, sex, transportation
* Cost considerations of equipment, ease of use in a variety of settings
Ask questions if you don't understand all available options.
Post a Followup