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University Advancement

Media Contact: Carmen Ramos Chandler
(818) 677-2130
carmen.chandler@csun.edu
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Public Relations and Strategic Communications

MEDIA RELEASE

CSUN & CATE Go Live with Web Site to Help
Californians with Disabilities Get Assistive Technology

(NORTHRIDGE, Calif., Oct. 11, 2007) — Cal State Northridge, through its California Assistive Technology Exchange (CATE) grant, has launched a Web site designed to help Californians with disabilities obtain assistive technology to improve their independence and increase their productivity.

The CATE Web site, http://www.csun.edu/cod/cate/, will link visitors to three programs to help them find what they need: a device loan program, a device reutilization program and a loan guarantee program.

"This is a wonderful way for Californians with disabilities to learn about programs that can help them find the resources to help them get the assistive technology they need to make their lives more comfortable," said Sandy Plotin, managing director of CSUN’s Center on Disabilities.

"The most exciting aspect of the Web site," Plotin continued, "is that it is set up like a Craig’s List, where consumers can find equipment from other consumers to either try out or to buy. The key is they are directly linked to people like themselves who understand what they are looking for and are looking to recycle equipment."

Northridge was the only agency in the state last year to receive a $1.1-million, two-year grant to fund a collaborative effort between CSUN’s National Center on Deafness and its Center on Disabilities to provide financial assistance to people with disabilities throughout California.

The federal Assistive Technologies (AT) Act requires each state to support and finance activities that increase access to and funding for assistive technology devices and services by people with disabilities. Northridge has been charged with implementing California’s enforcement of the act.

The grant is comprised of three programs: an AT Device Loan Program and an AT Loan Reutilization Program, both supported by federal funds, and an AT Loan Guarantee Program, which is supported solely by state funds. CATE worked with 10 community-based organizations across the state to ensure that Californians with disabilities know about the programs and have access to them.

Cal State Northridge’s National Center on Deafness has served more than 2,500 students who are deaf and hard of hearing since its inception more than 40 years ago. NCOD provides communication access, leadership opportunities, scholarships, academic advisement, tutoring and direct communication classes each year to approximately 200 students who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Through a wide array of services, CSUN’s Center on Disabilities helps Cal State Northridge students realize their academic and career goals. A team of disability and educational specialists are available to students on a year-round basis. In addition, students may receive training on assistive technology, access the help of peer mentors, and are encouraged to participate in the wide range of cultural and social activities offered at the university. The center also sponsors national and international assistive technology training programs to expand the knowledge base of professionals and introduce newcomers to the disability field.

California State University, Northridge has 34,500 full- and part-time students and offers 62 bachelor’s and 50 master’s degrees as well as 28 teaching credential programs. Founded in 1958, CSUN is among the largest single-campus universities in the nation and the only four-year public university in the San Fernando Valley. The university serves as the intellectual, economic and cultural heart of the Valley and beyond.

California State University, Northridge at 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330 / Phone: 818-677-1200 / © 2006 CSU Northridge