Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

State Seeks "Champions of Assistive Technology"

Awards Presentation is April 5 at State Capitol; Nominations Deadline is Feb. 25

(ST. PAUL January 28, 2011) – The STAR Program and the Minnesota Assistive Technology Advisory Council are accepting nominations for the 2011 Excellence in Assistive Technology awards.

The awards recognize individuals and organizations as champions of assistive technology (AT) for removing barriers to independence for people with disabilities. Previous recipients include consumers, advocates, employers, educators, innovators, service providers, product developers and others.

AT is any device that maintains, improves or increases function of an individual with a disability. AT may be a magnifier to enlarge print, a ramp to provide wheelchair access, equipment with text-to-speech capabilities or a device that improves communication.

The deadline for nominations is 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, 2011. Details and nomination forms are available online at or by calling the STAR (A System of Technology to Achieve Results) Program at 651/201-2640 (metro) or 1-888-234-1267 (toll-free).

The awards will be presented April 5 in the State Capitol Rotunda.

With appropriate AT, people of all ages with disabilities can perform tasks at home, school and work and in the community. The selection of appropriate AT includes selecting the correct AT for the task and receiving adequate training to ensure its effective and efficient use. STAR would like to recognize the dedicated people who develop the AT, provide AT services and support and the consumers who teach the value of AT through its use and reuse.

The STAR Program is administered through the Minnesota Department of Administration and is federally funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended in 2004 (P.L. 108-364).

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The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center, the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.

This project was supported, in part by grant number 2301MNSCDD-02, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.

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