Minnesota's Assistive Technology Act Program
Device Demos Device Loan Device Exchange Reutilization Funding

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Minnesota State Plan for Assistive Technology

Attachment 8: State Leadership Activities

8.1 Training and Technical Assistance Activities

Describe how the State will provide training and technical assistance to enhance the knowledge, skills, and competencies of individuals from local settings statewide, including representatives of State and local educational agencies, other State and local agencies, early intervention programs, adult service programs, hospitals and other health care facilities, institutions of higher education and businesses as described in section 4(e)(3)(B)(i) of the AT Act.

Training: Over the years STAR has presented a number of training sessions for state employees, AT professionals, employers and consumers and it will continue to do so over the next three years. Some of these training sessions will be based upon curriculum already established by STAR on relevant AT topics while others will provide training on new and evolving AT trends. Training activities will include:

Technical Assistance: STAR will continue to provide technical assistance upon request over the next three years. The type of technical assistance provided will be determined by future requests; therefore, STAR is unable to describe specific activities at this time. It is likely, however, that STAR will receive requests similar to past requests. Examples of technical assistance provided by STAR in the past include:

Transition: STAR will address the transitioning needs of Minnesotans through the following state leadership activities:

STAR purchased assistive technology to provide the transition event participants with hands-on training. During the rest of the year, the equipment became part of the statewide device loan network for use by agencies (schools, workforce centers, VA, county services, regional AT Centers) and consumers.

8.2 Public Awareness Activities

Describe how the State will provide information to targeted individuals and entities relating to the availability, benefits, appropriateness, and costs of assistive technology devices and assistive technology services as described in section 4(e)(3)(B)(ii) of the AT Act.

STAR provides Minnesotans with assistive technology related information through multiple forms of media as outlined below. All STAR materials are available in a variety of formats including Braille, electronic and audio.

Information and Referral: STAR provides information and referral to professionals and consumers locally and statewide through its toll-free phone number, e-mail and in-person at events and trainings.

Newsletter: STAR's newsletter Constellations is published quarterly (Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter) and has a circulation of approximately 7,200. Each issue covers a wide range of assistive technology topics such as new products and services, funding resources, tips and strategies, legislative updates, training opportunities and special events.

Web site: STAR maintains a Web site that provides information regarding:

Internet Radio Show: Over the next three years STAR will continue to produce and broadcast STAR Point, an on-demand Internet radio program. STAR Point educates Minnesotans on a broad array of issues related to assistive technology, assistive technology services and legislation regarding access to information technology and accessibility issues. Each half-hour program features experts in their respective fields. Guests to date have included government employees (federal and state of Minnesota), educators, members of advocacy groups, as well as representatives from service providers, vendors and manufacturers. A transcript of each show is posted as an alternative access option.

Publications: Finding the money to purchase assistive technology can be a difficult and time-consuming task. That is why for the past eight years the STAR program has published its Directory of Funding Resources for Assistive Technology in Minnesota. This 105 page directory is available to all Minnesotans, agencies and organizations free of charge. Directory content includes:

To date, STAR has given away approximately 10,000 copies of the most recent edition of its funding directory. An updated edition was issued in June 2006. Later in the year STAR will release its funding directory on CD, which will allow Minnesotans to choose a format that best meets their needs. The funding directory is also available online at STAR's Web site in English and Spanish and in alternative formats upon request. Approximately 9,400 visitors have viewed the online directory during the past 12 months.

STAR distributes its funding directory at various events throughout the year such as the State Fair and Charting the Cs, which is an annual statewide assistive technology conference. The directory is also given to a variety of agencies in Minnesota including AT centers, rehabilitation facilities to assist professionals and their consumers during the funding process. The directory may be requested by contacting STAR through its toll free number, Web site or e-mail. During year one STAR expanded its distribution of the directory to include public libraries, senior centers and other public institutions statewide to increase its reach to a diverse group of consumers. By providing this information in one easy to access directory, consumers of all ages, disabilities and needs and professionals statewide spend less time searching for funding resources. Furthermore, by providing consumers and professionals with a comprehensive directory of funding options and resources the likelihood of acquiring needed assistive technology is increased.

8.3 Coordination and Collaboration

Describe how the State will coordinate activities among public and private entities that are responsible for policies, procedures, or funding for the provision of assistive technology devices and assistive technology services to individuals with disabilities, service providers, and others to improve access to assistive technology devices and assistive technology services as described in section 4(e)(3)(B)(iii) of the AT Act.

Minnesota STAR Program currently collaborates and coordinates with public and private entities that are responsible for establishing policies, procedures, or AT funding. Activities include:

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