TechACCESS of Rhode Island was founded in 1991 to provide assistive technology (AT) services to people with disabilities. In 2016, we merged with HMEA to expand our mission into Massachusetts.
TechACCESS believes that an informed consumer working collaboratively with knowledgeable professionals can best identify and select effective technology devices and services to improve his or her independent functioning. To achieve this, our programs are offered to assistive technology users, families, educational and therapeutic professionals, and others interested in learning more about assistive technology.
Our services include evaluations, consultations, trainings, tech support, and professional development. Our services are available to individuals with disabilities of all ages.
A big part of the identity of TechACCESS has been our annual assistive technology conference, which today is called the Assistive Technology Conference of New England. The first RI state-wide assistive technology conference, held in 1988 at the Warwick Campus of the Community College of RI, was entitled the “TechACCESS Conference”, as this was a name that embodied the two primary focuses for the conference – technology and accessibility. Fueled by the volunteer contributions of so many professionals, students, schools, agencies, companies, and parents of persons with disabilities, the first conference had a budget of less than $100. Today, it is a 2-day event attended by hundreds from all over the United States and beyond who come to see national level presenters share their expertise on current assistive technologies.
As a community resource, TechACCESS offers information on all types of assistive technology. We are the central information, resource, and demonstration site for the Assistive Technology Access Partnership (ATAP), the Rhode Island Tech Act grant.
The Rhode Island Assistive Technology Access Partnership (ATAP) is designed as a statewide partnership of organizations, each with a targeted assistive technology focus, working together to improve access to and acquisition of assistive technology for individuals with disabilities.
ATAP’s main initiatives include:
- Device Demonstration
- Device Loan
- Device Re-Use
- Training, Public Awareness, Collaboration, Information & Referral