Office of Consumer Access and Self Determination
Assistive Technology Program
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Frequently Asked Questions
Question 1: Do states have to develop an advisory council as a part of applying for a formula grant under the Assistive Technology program?
In order to be eligible for a grant under Section 4 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended (AT Act of 2004), a state is required to establish an advisory council to provide consumer-responsive, consumer-driven advice to the state for the planning of, implementation of and evaluation of the activities carried out by its Statewide AT Program, including setting the state's measurable goals. Participants on the state's advisory council must reflect the diversity of the state, and a majority (not less than 51%) of those participants must be individuals with disabilities that use assistive technology or the family members or guardians of such individuals. Sections 4(c)(2)(B)(i)(II)-(V) of the AT Act requires that, at a minimum, the advisory council include representatives from: the state vocational rehabilitation agency, and the state agency for individuals who are blind, if these agencies are separate; a state center for independent living; the state workforce investment board; and the state educational agency. Representatives from these organizations who are also individuals with disabilities cannot be counted toward the 51% majority of individuals with disabilities.
Question 2: What are the duties of the entity designated as the “Lead Agency”?
Section 4(c)(1)(A) of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended (AT Act) requires the governor of a state to designate a public agency as a "Lead Agency" responsible for:>
- controlling and administering the funds made available through the State Grant for Assistive Technology (SGAT) awarded to the state;
- submitting the application for the SGAT on behalf of the state, to ensure conformance with federal and state accounting requirements;
- preparing the application for the SGAT;
- carrying out the state activities described in the application for the SGAT, including making the necessary programmatic and resource allocation decisions to implement the state's comprehensive statewide program (Statewide AT Program);
- coordinating the activities of the Statewide AT Program among public and private entities, including coordinating efforts related to entering into interagency agreements, and maintaining and evaluating the program; and,
- coordinating efforts related to the active, timely, and meaningful participation by individuals with disabilities and their family members, guardians, advocates, or authorized representatives, and other appropriate individuals, with respect to activities carried out through the grant.
Question 3: Does the “Lead Agency” have to be the same one that implements the Statewide AT program?
No, Section 4(c)(1)(B) of the AT Act allows the governor to designate an agency, office, or other entity different from the Lead Agency to carry out the Statewide AT Program. If such a designation is made, the "Implementing Entity" must carry out the Statewide AT Program through a subcontract or another administrative agreement with the Lead Agency.
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