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Participating Agencies

Minnesota’s Guide to Assistive Technology was created to help Minnesotans with disabilities and those who serve them better understand assistive technology (AT) and their options for accessing and acquiring AT for use at home, school, work, and in the community. This site is a project of numerous state agencies listed below.

Department of Administration

Minnesota STAR Program

The STAR Program is Minnesota’s Assistive Technology Act program and a program of the Department of Administration. This program is 100 percent federally funded and provides the following assistive technology services:

  • Information and assistance
  • Device demonstrations
  • Device loans (30-days or less) for evaluation, temporary use or accommodation 
  • Long-term loans of refurbished assistive technology (consumer may keep as long as needed) 
  • Public awareness
  • Technical assistance
  • Training 

Department of Employment and Economic Development

State Services for the Blind

State Services for the Blind (SSB) is supported through state and federal funds. Its mission and purpose is to facilitate the achievement of vocational and personal independence by Minnesotans 14-years and older who are blind, visually impaired or DeafBlind by providing the following services:

  • Adjustment to Blindness Training
  • Counseling and Guidance
  • Equipment and Assistive technology
  • Job Training
  • Job Placement
  • Information & Assistance 

Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) receives state and federal funds. Its mission is to empower Minnesotans with disabilities to achieve their goals for employment, independent living and community integration. VRS serves transition age youth and working-aged adults with any medically documented disability that impacts their ability to obtain and maintain employment.  Services include:

  • Counseling and Guidance
  • Information and Referral
  • Job Training
  • Job Placement
  • Job Supports
  • Equipment and Assistive Technology

Department of Human Services 

State Plan and Waiver Services

The Minnesota Department of Human Services contributes the majority of funding for assistive technology and modifications for people with disabilities through Medical Assistance State Plan and MA waiver programs.  Federal and state funds combine in these programs to provide Minnesotans with disabilities, older adults and people with chronic health conditions the supports they need to remain healthy, safe and productive. State Plan services are managed by the Health Care Administration; Waiver Services are administered by the Disability Services Division.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services

The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division regional offices, mental health program and administrative team are funded through the General Fund. The Telephone Equipment Distribution (TED) Program is funded through a Special Revenue account called the Telecommunications Access Minnesota (TAM) fund. TAM receives its funding from a surcharge on telecommunications services. 

Minnesota Department of Education

 The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), through the work of the Division of Special Education, ensures access to a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) as defined in the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA). Through a combination of state and federal funds, or through other funding streams, students with disabilities in Minnesota Public Schools have access to assistive technology determined by the Individualized Educational Program plan team as being necessary for access to FAPE. 

MDE provides both professional development about the legal requirements for provision of AT, best and emerging practices in services and selection, acquisition and use of devices, and supports ongoing professional development and statewide communities of practice. 

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