In collaboration with the Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council, the DATI extended its equipment distribution portfolio with the addition of “CSI Delaware” (Combating Social Isolation and Promoting Community Engagement through Assistive Technology). The program places equipment that will be used to mitigate social isolation into the hands of individuals of all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We engaged staff from the Delaware Division of Developmental Disabilities Services in getting the word out to individuals served by that state agency. To date, 22 items have been distributed that enable people with I/DD to engage with their communities and communicate more effectively.
One of our frequent observations is that a number of individuals are seeking technology without the benefit of an evaluation of their needs to enable a match between the user’s profile and the features of the technology. The CSI program offers both evaluation and training services, which lengthens the device acquisition process but increases the likelihood that the equipment provided will meet the needs of our customers. Many individuals seeking equipment through our program have tried to get it through other means but have been turned away. Funding from the DD Council is slated to expire in June 2022; we intend to share de-identified data about applicants and their needs with a variety of state agencies to demonstrate the unmet needs among their constituents. Adults with I/DD have the greatest challenges in securing AT devices/services that meet their needs.