What We Do
Our mission is to provide Illinoisans of all ages with disabilities and health conditions greater access to assistive technology (AT) devices and services so that they may enhance their independence and participation in all aspects of life. To achieve this, we offer numerous assistive technology programs and services to learn about and try AT devices, financial loans to purchase AT, training, technical assistance, and a variety of contracted services including professional AT evaluations.
Please explore our website, read our annual report, and/or contact us to learn more about how we may help you or your organization.
Who We Serve
Our Executive Director leads our organization with the help of a dedicated and skilled staff of 40 individuals. Our team positions include:
- Administrative and program support staff
- Assistive Technology Professionals (ATP’s)
- Chief Finance Officer (CFO)
- Chief Operating Officer (COO)
- Information technology accessibility specialists
- Licensed/Certified therapists with AT expertise
- Program Directors and Coordinators
- Public policy, advocacy, and education consultants
- Rehabilitation Engineers
- Software and data base application developers
IATP’s work is also supported by program specific contractors, consultants, and volunteers.
Our nonprofit organization fully supports consumer choice and control and is governed by an ethnically diverse, consumer-majority, eight-member Board of Directors that has both programmatic and fiscal oversight. Seventy-five percent of Board members are individuals with disabilities.
IATP Board Officers:
- Rita Howells, President
- Barbara Doyle, Vice President
- David Perez, Treasurer
- Brian Dowd, Secretary
IATP Board Members:
- Horacio Esparza
- Michael Knepler
- Sharon Ruda
The organization also has an advisory council specifically for the State Assistive Technology Act Program funding it receives. It is a 60% consumer-majority advisory council that reflects the diversity of the state in terms of disability, age, ethnicity, and geographic location. The 28-member Advisory Council consists of 11 individuals representing state agencies or other disability related organizations, and 17 council members who are individuals with disabilities that use AT and/or are family members or guardians of those who do. The advisory council reviews performance measures and provides programmatic input.
The Illinois Assistive Technology Program (IATP) is the nonprofit organization designated as the implementing entity for the federally funded State Grant for Assistive Technology Program authorized under the Assistive Technology Act of 2004 (New Page). Illinois’s designated lead agency is the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services. This federal formula grant funding is provided through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living (ACL) (New Page), Center for Innovation and Partnership. The office of Interagency Innovation within ACL oversees the State Grant for Assistive Technology Program.
In addition to the State AT Act Program funding, IATP has leveraged other funding and resources to provide needed services beyond what the AT Act funding can support. IATP has collaborative agreements with:
- Illinois Department on Aging
- Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
- Illinois State Board of Education
- Social Security Administration
If you are interested in partnerships, collaborations, and/or sponsorships to support the assistive technology needs of Illinois and its residents, please contact our Executive Director.
We believe disability and aging is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes a person’s right to:
- enjoy full inclusion and integration in mainstream society;
- benefit from education;
- pursue meaningful careers;
- enjoy self-determination;
- make informed choices; and
- live in an environment of their choosing
Illinois was one of the first nine states funded in 1989 under the original Tech Act (1988) which is currently the AT Act (2004). Officially funded effective August 9, 1989, the Illinois Assistive Technology Program began as a federal grant submitted by then the Illinois Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) whose Director, Carl Suter, originated the revolutionary concept of having it operate as a not-for-profit organization on its own rather than within state government. In this way it could serve people of all ages with all types of disabilities and work with all state and private agencies without bias to any particular group or disability. Carol Gortat, a DORS employee with personal disability experience, brought the grant application to life with the vignettes that she sprinkled throughout the narrative about the often profound impact of assistive technology on a wide range of people with disabilities and age-related functional limitations. Representatives from DORS, the IL Departments of Developmental Disabilities, Mental Health, Aging, and State Board of Education, along with a large number of not-for-profit disability, aging, and education entities, further enriched the effort with their involvement in every aspect from grant writing to ongoing advising after IATP was established, incorporated and through its first decade. IATP continues to grow and evolve to meet the needs of everyone who can benefit from the ever-changing and expanding array of assistive technology devices and services.