2001 Conference Proceedings

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Introduction to the AT Network Information and Referral Service

Allan M. Friedman, I&R Project Manager
Amy Noakes, I&R Specialist
California Foundation for Independent Living Centers

Background:

Brief history of how AT Network came to be. This will include information about the California Assistive Technology System (CATS) operated by the California Department of Rehabilitation, its funding
from NIDDR as the Tech Act project for California and its purpose and goals (Increase awareness of AT, improve access, remove barriers), How CATS contracted out activities that include I&R, website and outreach, its decision to transition those activities to a non-profit entity and how the AT Network was chosen as that entity.

What is the AT Network

Talk about what the AT Network is, why the name was chosen and how, what AT Network plans to accomplish in relation to CATS goals. Talk about the various elements of the project:

Systems Change Coordination: 

Discuss the systems change coordinator activities (pull from narrative)

Multicultural Outreach:

Discuss the multicultural outreach activities (pull from narrative)

Public Education:

Talk about public relations activities including op-eds published, and other efforts to raise public awareness of AT issues and promote AT Network.


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AT Network Website

Discuss how and why the website was renamed and revamped from CATSCA.org to ATNET.org. Demonstrate the site's features, including detailed explanation of the AT Services Directory; how it was developed, how it works, plans for the future, etc., demonstration of AT Journal, forums, etc.

Information & Referral System:

Discuss how the I&R system worked under CATS, what was good about the system, what needed improvements, what problems it had, number of calls it handled.

Discuss how AT Network revamped the system with a network approach to I&R; changes that were made and resulting improvements, including number of calls now handled.

Discuss types of information provided, tools developed (such as FAQ sheets, Ask Amy, General Info packets), types of calls handled, feedback and follow up procedures.

Discuss efforts to promote the phone number, including public listing, outreach activities, literature, etc.

Conclusion:

Discuss how AT Network is working to improve coordination of AT service delivery in California. Talk about AT advocates at ILCs working with the I&R service, parent training centers and others to get
AT information to consumers and help consumers get AT. 

Take questions:


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