2001 Conference Proceedings

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Operating and Evolving an Assistive Technology Center

Leisa Salvo, M.S., CCC-S
ATEC Manager and Speech-Language Pathologist
Assistive Technology Exchange Center (ATEC)
200 N. Fairview St.
Santa Ana, CA 92703

Ramon Castillo, B.S., OTR
ATEC Occupational Therapist

Kevin Daugherty, M.S.
ATEC Rehabilitation Engineer

Jason Hilkey, B.A.
ATEC Sr. Technology Specialist

Beth Schiessl, M.S., CCC-S
ATEC Speech-Language Pathologist

What is ATEC?

The Assistive Technology Exchange Center (ATEC) is a program of Goodwill Industries of Orange County. ATEC assists clients in determining the best technological solutions for overcoming limitations. Services include adaptive computer assessment, augmentative and alternative communication, installation and training, an equipment loan program, and job development for individuals using assistive technology. Staff includes two Speech-Language Pathologists, a Rehabilitation Engineer, an Occupational Therapist, two Technology Specialists, a Service Coordination and an Assistant Service Coordinator.

History of ATEC

ATEC began as a vision of Goodwill Industries V.P., Nancy Quarles and President of the Board of Directors, Rogers Severson. While initially envisioned to meet the technology needs of people with spinal cord injuries, a greater need was quickly seen in Orange County and surrounding areas for Assistive Technology services for other disability groups. In 1995 a Department of Rehabilitation Establishment Grant was awarded to Goodwill Industries of Orange County and ATEC began that first year. In May, 1997, ATEC moved into a new 7,000 sq. foot building. By 1998 ATEC had grown from three to seven staff members. Today ATEC provides assistive technology services to nearly 450 people annually.

How ATEC Operates (in brief)

  1. Initial Referral and Funding
  2. Assessment Process
  3. Facilitating Client Equipment Funding
  4. Installation of Client Equipment
  5. Training – at home, school, and on the job
  6. Follow-up Services

Community Outreach Programs

Computer Access Lab

The purpose of the Computer Access Lab is to provide a hands-on computer experience available to the public at no cost. In addition, the purpose is to open our doors to the community to allow individuals to explore the newest in computer software and technology.

Equipment Loan Program (ELP)

The Equipment Loan Program offers innovative solutions and an inexpensive way to borrow popular assistive technology devices for children and adults with disabilities.

Community Resource Center Partnerships

Host site of vendor training seminars

School District Relationships

ATEC currently has 17 contracts for the 2000-2001 school year with individual school districts in Orange County and surrounding areas. The contracts range from small to large – providing services for 1 up to a maximum of 35 students to serve for the year.

Service Delivery Model

ATEC is a program of Goodwill Industries of Orange County, a non-profit agency whose mission is to provide people with disabilities and other barriers the opportunity to achieve their highest levels of personal and economic independence. ATEC strives to customize service delivery to each of our clients to meet their individual assistive technology needs.

Assessment Protocol

ATEC has developed an assessment protocol to utilize as part of our assessment process. The protocol is tailored according to each client’s need for augmentative/alternative communication, computer access, and/or learning disability-related technology.

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