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TechOWL (Technology for Our Whole Lives) | Community Living & Support Services

TechOWL (Technology for Our Whole Lives)

Pennsylvania’s Initiative on Assistive Technology is a statewide program whose goal is to assure a system of easy access to Assistive Technology to all Pennsylvanians with disabilities.

The Institute on Disabilities at Temple University is home to many assistive technology programs and projects including TechOWL (Terchnology for Our Whole Lives), formerly known as Pennsylvania’s Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT). PIAT is Pennsylvania’s Assistive Technology (AT) Act Program. PIAT and the other assistive technology programs and projects create TechOWL - Technology for Our Whole Lives.

WHAT IS ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY?

According to the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, Assistive Technology is "any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities."

Technology has dramatically changed all of our lives over the past decade. Technology can help us be more productive and efficient. It can make our lives a little easier and more comfortable. However, for some individuals with disabilities, Assistive Technology can do much more.

Assistive Technology devices and services enable some individuals with disabilities to have greater control over their own lives and to participate in and contribute more fully to activities in their home, school and work environments, and in their communities.

Technology for Our Whole Lives (TechOWL) is a program through the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University. TechOWL works to increase access to devices and services offered throughout the state. Services include: Public Awareness, Information and Referral, Advocacy, and Training and Technology. CLASS is the TechOWL Assistive Technology Resource Center (ATRC) for Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Indiana, Lawrence, and Westmoreland counties. You may find a complete list of all ATRCs here.

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS at CLASS INCLUDE:

  • Free Special Phone Program (formerly TDDP)   
    Provides free, accessible land line phone devices for those who qualify.
  • Assistive Technology Lending Library (ATLL)
    Provides free short-term loans of all types of equipment for individuals, company staff trainings, trials, and evaluations.
  • Used Equipment Exchange (formerly REEP)
    Provides free statewide classified listing of items for sale and items wanted by individuals.
  • Good Use Program
    Allows individuals to donate or obtain gently used assistive technology devices.
  • Assistive Technology Device Demonstrations
    CLASS is the site for the Southwestern PA Demonstration Center. Come in for a guided exploration of devices to see what might best suit your needs.

This program is supported in part by Technology for Our Whole Lives (TechOWL). TechOWL is the Commonwealth's Assistive Technology Act Program at the Institute on Disabilities, Temple University, and is funded through a grant from the Administration on Community Living, US Department of Health and Human Services.

Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) is a non-profit organization that offers low-interest and 0% interest cash  loans (depending on the amount to be borrowed) for the purchase of AT devices and services,  as well as information about other potential funding sources. For more information about the PATF's programs, call Toll-Free 1-888-744-1938 or visit www.patf.us

For questions regarding these services or programs, contact Assistive Technology at 412-683-7100 x2179, TTY 412-246-2255 or VP 412.436.5087.