1999 Conference Proceedings

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ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY: THE PATHWAY TO REACH YOUR GOALS

The Vocational Rehabilitation Administration of Puerto Rico, operates its own assistive technology center for vocational rehabilitation and independent living better known by its acronym as ATREVI.

The ATREVI Center was founded in 1997 as part of the services provided by the Vocational Rehabilitation Administration, in compliance with the Assistive Technology Act of 1988 and its amendments. It's the first assistive technology comprehensive facility on the Island and is also a unique model center in the nation utilizing a transdisciplinary approach as a model of intervention with applicants and consumers with disabilities.

Our ATREVI Center is the leader in the field of rehabilitation and assistive technology. At ATREVI the transdisciplinary approach is the pathway to reaching our consumer's goals. This model establishes a transdisciplinary teaming and service delivery approach. The consumer referred to our center is assessed simultaneously by various professionals representing different disciplines, they all focus on function:

"What does the individual with a disability want to do that he/she currently cannot do?" The family and caregivers are an essential part of this team and are integral part of the process as well as other members of the community. The assessment is more longitudinal, naturalistic, process oriented, and family centered than traditional discipline-specific assessments. There's a common sample of behavior elicited from which professionals draw inferences. All the professionals come together a staff meeting follows with the goal of formulating an integrated report and consensual validated cross-disciplinary individualized plan of intervention, assessment, prescription and recommendation of assistive technology devices and technical assistance.

With this model professionals from various disciplines work together cooperatively by educating and assessing one another in the skills and practice of their disciplines so that the team members can act as the single agent for carrying out services with a designated consumer and family member or caregiver. When you work on this team approach the different team members assume the roles and responsibilities of others disciplines by delivering the assessment/prescription process jointly developed by the team as a whole.

Also this approach enhances the professionals skills of the team members with the interaction of all, discussing all aspects of the assessment process from each discipline point of view and integrating a plan from that variety of views. The consumer can benefit from the comprehensive assessment because all the aspects and needs are considered. The consumer is viewed on an holistic bases touching mind, body and spirit. Although this service delivery approach requires a considerable time for cross-sharing, planning, coordination and training of the team members to deliver the services it is very productive achieving goals and having success.

Our Mission is to provide access to assistive technology equipment, devices and strategies that enable persons with disabilities to reach their own personal goals, vocational rehabilitation, competitive employment, effective learning and independent living.

The Vision of the ATREVI Center is to promote the achievement of social and economical independence for each consumer with severe physical/mental disabilities, through assistive technology equipment, devices and technical assistance promoting productivity and inclusion. Assistive Technology is device as any item, piece of equipment, or product system. Whether acquired commercially of the shelf, modified or customized that is used to increase maintain or improve the functional capabilities of an individual with a disability. Assistive Technology Services is defined as: Any service that directly assist an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device, including:

At the conference we will be presenting how this team interacts and the real effects of this kind of team intervention in the rehabilitation processes. How the consumer is benefited by this approach in terms of effectiveness, appropriateness and quality of the services provided. Information on how many consumers received services will be provided with graphics , also the devices received matched to the individual and the disability.


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