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State Seal Workforce Investment, Department for
Assistive technology law will help Kentuckians with disabilities
Press Release Date:  October 28, 2004
Contact:  Kim Saylor Brannock
(502) 564-6606
KimS.Brannock@ky.gov
 

More than 250,000 Kentuckians with disabilities who use or need assistive technology such as communication devices and wheelchairs will benefit from a newly signed law that will ensure greater access to these technologies in Kentucky for five years.

The Assistive Technology Act of 2004, which was signed by President George W. Bush Oct. 25, supports the continuance of a previous law that established Assistive Technology Act Programs across the United States. In Kentucky the program is called Kentucky Assistive Technology Service (KATS) Network and it brings together organizations to improve the availability of assistive technology information, devices and services for people of all ages and all disabilities who need it. The KATS Network is under the Kentucky Office for the Blind (OFB).

As a U.S. congressman, Governor Ernie Fletcher supported funding for the law and worked to keep the 1988 law from expiring.

“I have been a consistent supporter of assistive technology programs for many years and I am pleased to see that this new law has passed. Assistive technology helps many Kentuckians to pursue their education, obtain and maintain a job and participate in their communities. Passage of this legislation means that people with disabilities, educators, employers and service providers will have access to the technology they need and it represents an important commitment to people with disabilities from their government officials,” Governor Fletcher said.

Kentucky was one of the first states funded under the Technology-Related Assistance Act of 1988 and has implemented strategies to raise awareness of assistive technology and resources and has helped increase access to assistive technology devices and services through the state’s education, rehabilitation and health services systems and the Kentucky General Assembly, said Chase Forrester, director of the KATS Network.

“Since the inception of the state assistive technology (AT) programs, the major advancements in the field of assistive technology have made AT, along with its cousin, accessible information technology, an essential part of the modern scientific solutions for the functional loss associated with most disabilities.

“The KATS Network is grateful for the unanimous support it has received over the years from its Kentucky members of the U.S. Senate and House in helping to extend the Kentucky AT program beyond its original 10-year window. It is very heartening to see the kind of support generated in Kentucky also becoming a unanimous effort in Congress that will benefit millions of people with disabilities across the nation,” Forrester said.

OFB is an agency of the Department for Workforce Investment in the Education Cabinet.

The Education Cabinet coordinates learning programs from P-16, and manages and supports training and employment functions in the Department for Workforce Investment. For more information about our programs, visit www.educationcabinet.ky.gov or www.workforce.ky.gov or call 502-564-6606.






 

Last updated: Thursday, October 28, 2004