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Assistive Technology Program

 

FAAST Blue and White Logo

Bluebee Pals and Florida Alliance of Assistive Services

Kayle Concepts recently welcomed the Florida Alliance of Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST) to the Bluebee Pals Project. The regional centers received Bluebee Pals to use with clients during evaluation sessions, training activities and instructional events. FAAST is a state-funded program that provides device demonstrations and loans to help customers select assistive technology equipment that will help with activities of daily living and communication.

 

Warren Jernigan and LaVesta Feagin

The Gulf Coast Regional Center is part of the Center for Independent Living (CIL) in Pensacola, Florida. LaVesta Feagin, an AT Specialist at CIL, works tirelessly to provide seniors with equipment to better access their environment and live active lives. LaVesta began working as a volunteer through a Career-Transition Program and then was hired as the AT Specialist.. She primarily works to provide the elderly with items from their “senior kit” including car canes for stability, car caddies, swivel seats, lifts, power chairs, and weighted eating utensils. However, she is faced with another crucial tasks of helping customers all over the Gulf Coast find Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC) devices that will help them communicate effectively.

Mom and Son and BlueBee

LaVesta has delved into this area with a thirst for knowledge that has guided her journey as the centers only AT Specialist. LaVesta was faced with limited experience working with children and AAC devices but was up for the challenge! She has used Bluebee Pals to engage children as well as the seniors at CIL with much success! She connects Bluebee to her trial AAC Devices including the Tobii Dynavox, the iPad with Proloquo2Go Communication App, Android devices, Kindles and even smart phones! “I was excited about how they can be used with so many devices because they are Bluetooth enabled” she stated.

iPadProloquoComCard

 

LaVesta hosts a “Foster Grandparents” program which connects seniors with children. Both populations benefit from the shared experience of chatting, playing games and now interacting with Bluebee Pals! “The kids and elderly loved activating the Bluebee Pals with the iPad and AAC app (Proloquo2Go)! They could talk to the foster grandparents with the Bluebee Pals and even had the grandparents using the iPads!” -LaVesta Feagin

 

Zebra BlueBee PalThe Bluebee Pal’s biggest fan at Gulf Coast FAAST is Hannah. LaVesta works with this 17-year-old student with Autism who without question always lets her know if she is interested in a new activity or tool right away. “She will let me know right away if she is not interested in something and she absolutely loves the ZebraBluebee Pal that she has named June. I checked out the Bluebee Pal’s recommended apps on the website and downloaded Toca Hair Salon. Hannah loves hearing the hair salon sounds through Bluebee June and is so engaged.”

“Bluebee Pals are a good price-point for people because AAC is expensive. Not only is it an affordable price, but there are a variety of animals for kids. It offers people different choices.” – LaVesta FeaginLaVesta Feagin is an AT superstar, working hard to engaged seniors and children during FAAST activities as well as for AAC evaluations. We love that Bluebee Pals are helping her in this endeavor. We salute you LaVesta!…..https://www.bluebeepals.com/bluebee-pals-project-participants/

Hannah Stanwood uses her favorite animal, “Z” for Zebra

Click Here Mice for Accommodations – Training Video:  (Or insert URL in Search – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcOlI4BOHYg&feature=youtu.be)

Some of the services includeThis program is available to Floridians with disabilities, family members and service providers. Some devices require that a person experienced with the device is available to assist you and assess your needs.

Gulf Coast Regional Center provides services to increase awareness, access, and acquisition of assistive technology for all Floridians. Regional centers are located  in Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, Tallahassee, and Tampa.

Each center provides the following core services:

Information and Assistance:  The Information and Assistance program, one of our core services, receives questions from all over our region about our programs, services, and the field of assistive technology.

We respond to requests for information and will put individuals in contact with other agencies, organizations, or companies that can provide them with needed information on AT products, devices, services, funding sources, or other related disability topics.

To better assist the people we serve, in addition to our programs and services, we have access to an updated database of information related to disabilities and available resources. This program is essential to our organization, it provides people with the assistance necessary to make informed decisions with assistive technology.

Short-Term Assistive Technology Equipment Loans:   Assistive technology devices may be borrowed for a short period of time to assist with:

•        decision making
•        serve as a loaner while waiting for a repair or funding
•        provide an accommodation on a short term basis for a time limited event
•        conduct training, self -education, or other professional activity.

Device Demonstrations: Compare the benefits and features of a particular device or group of devices that address an identified need to help individuals make an informed choice.

Training: Training activities are instructional events, usually planned in advance for a specific purpose or audience that are designed to increase participants’ knowledge, skills, and competencies regarding AT. Examples of training include classes, workshops, and presentations that have a goal of increasing skills, knowledge, and competency, as opposed to training intended only to increase general awareness of AT.

PDF Download Assistive Technology Training Flyer

Word Download Assistive Technology Training Flyer

AT Training Flyer  Click to download JPEG Version

Our ReUse Center provides the following services:

  • Device reutilization, repair and refurbishment: Consumers may bring in their devices to be repaired and returned to them, or  may donate devices to be refurbished to be repaired as needed and then offered for sale, loan, or given away to other consumers in need.
  • Open-ended device loans: Open ended loans are typically long term with the device placed with a consumer on a permanent basis but done via loan rather than ownership transferring to the client. Consumers can keep a borrowed device for as long as required to meet a particular need.
  • Device exchange activities: Devices are posted on AT list through the FAAST Classified Ads and AT and many devices at no cost to the consumer.  Some devices are local pick up, others will ship. Depends on size and ability to ship.  Consumers may use the contact information provided in the listing to obtain the device.

FAAST Inc. Classifieds: Search the new online classified system where you can find new and used AT devices for FREE or a reduced price.

Statewide Device Loan ProgramThe FAAST Device Loan Program is a way for people with disabilities of all  ages to try out different assistive devices to best determine those most  helpful for them.