Helping to Achieve Employment Goals with AT

Initiative Description

During the year under review, MRC’s Vocational Rehabilitation Division collaborated with MRC’s MassMATCH AT Act program to carry out a number of projects related to Assistive Technology and employment. Through these projects, MassMATCH’s three AT Regional Centers in Boston, Worcester and Pittsfield increased access to AT devices related to employment, as well as provided training opportunities for staff of MRC, providers, employers, educators, or others who work with individuals with disabilities in achieving their employment goals. The overall purpose of the initiatives was to expand access to and awareness of AT and how it can help individuals with disabilities achieve employment-related goals. The specific projects carried out include purchase of additional AT devices related to employment, education or vocational training to augment the inventory of the Device Loan program, development of an online AT Toolkit, which includes information and recommendations on devices, programs, apps and other information specifically related to the achievement of an employment goal, 13 separate AT training sessions were conducted in total (9 for staff at MRC VR offices, as well as one each for MRC’s Placement Team, Pre-Employment Transition Service providers, Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES) providers and VR-Independent Living staff at the Independent Living Centers), and virtual AT Training and Expo, which provided 8 different AT training workshops to a broad audience focusing on employment-related topic as well as an opportunity for attendees to meet and learn about AT from 19 different AT vendors who exhibited.

Lessons Learned/Replication

That was the first time there has been a collaboration of this kind between the MRC Vocational Rehabilitation Division and the State AT Program. The audience reached was made up of MRC Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellors and others who work to assist MRC consumers achieve their employment goals. A total of 500 plus people were able to learn about assistive technology in ways they had not before. Participants were very happy with what they learned. Additionally, all the entities that participated in the initiatives believed they were very successful and are open to continue on an annual basis. One of the lessons learned was to offer the sessions in a less concentrated form in order to provide interested participants more opportunities to attend more sessions.

Year of Implementation




Initiative contact information

Tanya Bombard