Pennsylvania’s Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT) has named The Arc of Luzerne County as the newest Assistive Technology Resource Center (ATRC) in Pennsylvania. The new ATRC serves the Pennsylvania counties of Luzerne, Schuylkill, Berks, Lehigh, Northampton, Monroe and Carbon.
The Arc of Luzerne County joins a list of eight organizations which partner with PIAT to provide information and assistance to people with disabilities and their family members in finding, trying, and acquiring assistive technology. Assistive Technology (AT) is defined as any device that helps a person with a disability accomplish something they couldn’t otherwise do, and the services necessary to use that device. Each ATRC serves surrounding counties to ensure service across the Commonwealth.
According to Pamela Zotynia, Executive Director of The Arc of Luzerne County, AT has always been an important part of their mission. “For the more than six decades that The Arc of Luzerne County has been in existence, we have acknowledged that AT gives people with disabilities opportunities they once did not have,” Ms. Zotynia says. “On a personal level, I am the parent of a son with multiple disabilities and AT has allowed him to be included in the community in a meaningful way, even affording him the opportunity to explore employment opportunities.”
The Arc of Luzerne County has a Technology Navigator on staff – one of only 16 in the United States. Says Ms. Zotynia, “We want those who can benefit from AT to have access to the right options for them!” The Technology Navigator assists other chapters of The Arc across the country actively supporting people to achieve more in their lives through technology by identifying devices, apps and other technology which they, in turn, recommend to their constituencies.
Ms. Zotynia further notes, “The Arc has always strived for full inclusion for people with disabilities in their community. Becoming an ATRC is an important added support to ensure people with disabilities receive the devices that will work for them at work, at home and in the community.”
PIAT, a program of the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, shares its goals with The Arc of Luzerne County to enhance the lives of Pennsylvanians with disabilities, older Pennsylvanians, and their families, through access to and acquisition of AT devices and services.
“When a person has access to the right AT, it helps to ensure choice, control and independence at home, work, school, play and in the community,” says Sandi McNally, Assistant Director of the Institute on Disabilities. “It is imperative that ALL Pennsylvanians with disabilities, whether in rural, urban or suburban areas, have access to AT and The Arc of Luzerne County will help achieve that goal.”
The Arc of Luzerne County will be celebrating its designation as an ATRC with an Open House and AT Fair in spring of 2017. More information to come!
For more information about the work of The Arc of Luzerne County, contact: Pamela Zotynia; tel: 570-970-7739 ex 309; email: email@example.com
To learn more about PIAT, visit the website of the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University: disabilities.temple.edu/programs/assistive/piat.
PIAT is Pennsylvania’s Assistive Technology Act Program and is funded through a grant from the Administration on Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.