Tennessee Technology Access Program (TTAP) collaborates with Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Muscular Dystrophy Association to provide assistive technology services at the monthly multidisciplinary ALS Clinic. The clinic is maintained by Vanderbilt, as medical center staff are responsible for scheduling and providing primary medical services at the clinic. The clinic provides services to patients from throughout TN, and some from bordering states. Funding for the overall clinic flows through Vanderbilt. AT services are provided through TTAP at each clinic with no additional funds acquired by TTAP for the services.
The partnership with Vanderbilt ALS clinic allows patients to gain awareness about the potential AT solutions that are available throughout the progression of ALS. While individuals with ALS frequently engage with providers for medical care, incorporating AT into the clinic introduces AT that might otherwise remain unknown to patients and their families. This partnership allows TTAP to connect directly with individuals at the clinic, eliminating the need for a separate visit and often introduces them to the idea of AT. TTAP provides information about a variety of AT as an overview to new patients and provides more details to address specific needs of patients as the disease progresses. Information shared may include but is not limited to vehicle modifications, home automation, computer access, daily living aids and communication. Many AT devices are available for patients to try. Activities at the clinic often result in loans or reutilization of AT. This will remain an ongoing service to patients with ALS at the clinic. Increasing the inventory of demo/loan/reuse equipment that is frequently needed by this population is recommended to help meet the needs of patients. Working in conjunction with other loaner closets through the clinic such as MDA or ALSA greatly supports the needs of the patients.