Your self-directed employment assistant

If you are considering assistive technology, you most likely will ask yourself many questions.

Will it help me? Where do I get it? How can I pay for it? The questions can go on and on. One thing many people may not know is that there is a federal Assistive Technology Act which funds 56 Section Four Assistive Technology Act programs – one in each of the 50 states, 4 territories, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico—that help people gain access to and acquire the assistive technology they need at home, school, work and in their communities.


For residents of Minnesota, their local AT Act resource is the MN STAR Program. I will share information on the services that are available through STAR.


AT demonstrations are available for consumers giving them the opportunity to learn about the different types of assistive technology that are available. They can compare and contrast the various features of a device through hands-on meetings with knowledgeable AT professionals.


Often after a device demonstration, individuals request a device loan (although demonstration is not a requirement to borrow a piece of equipment). These short-term loans allow consumers to try a device for up to 30-days and use it wherever needed. Often we don’t know if a new AT product is what we need until we use it a while. Assistive technology can be costly, so having the ability to “try before you buy” is a nice option to have. It is important to mention there is no charge to borrow a STAR device (you will be asked to pay the cost of shipping the equipment back to our office).


In addition to demonstrations, STAR provides Minnesotans with information and assistance regarding Assistive Technology and related questions.


The services that I have mentioned are available through STAR in Saint Paul or one of our contract partners. Please call 651-201-2640 or email star.program@state.mn.us for more information.


If you are not from Minnesota and would like to learn about your state AT Act Program

Take a look at the AT3 Center (https://www.at3center.net).

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Comment by Adrienne Kleinman on February 27, 2019 at 3:16am

I didn't know about this wonderful resource--thanks for educating us on the MN Star Program and other state AT Act Programs, Amy!

Comment by Erika J. Kluge on January 16, 2019 at 1:28pm

MN Star Program is a great resource! I often find many do not know about it. Thank you for writing about it.

Comment by Jennifer Mundl on January 15, 2019 at 3:46pm

Amy, it sounds like you guys are doing great and very knowledgeable. I did not know of that website that you mention but it has a lot of resources and a good introduction to assistive technology. It is amazing the interest and changes in the area of assistive technology. What are some of your other favorite websites and resources? Have you seen the Pinterest website developed from Courage Kenny? Take some time and let me know what you think.

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