The Disability Disaster Access and Resources (DDAR) program was leveraged through the Ability Tools program and is deeply involved with supporting AT retention and acquisition across the State of California. Through funding from contracted energy providers, primarily Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), the DDAR program supports individuals in high fire threat areas who are subsequently more likely to experience power outages resulting from Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events or general power grid outages. The program assesses the individual’s energy needs to support their assistive technology devices, such as maintaining power to a power wheelchair, running a CPAP machine, or maintaining power to a refrigerator to keep insulin at the proper temperature. Consumers are provided batteries to support their AT devices in these events, and if their energy needs surpass the capabilities of a battery, they are provided with hotel rooms outside of the outage area, transportation, and food for the duration of the outage.
There were over one thousand additional Reutilization activities reported in this year’s APR due to the efforts of the DDAR program. This partnership enabled consumers to acquire and maintain life supporting AT that many would otherwise not have had access to. This program was built into California’s referral tree, resulting in consumers benefiting from both Ability Tools and DDAR services. Ability Tools staff was able to work closely with their sister program to ensure they had support in managing their inventories and were collecting all pertinent reporting data. As funding allows, both programs will continue to thrive and grow through this partnership.