According to the Technology-related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 (Tech Act), an assistive technology device is "any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities."
With recent advances in technology, assistive devices have come a long way in meeting the needs of those who experience hearing loss.
Today, there are a multitude of assistive devices available to help give individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing more independence. These devices are designed to help in all areas of life, such as amplified doorbells and telephone ringers, baby cry signalers, visual and vibrating alarm clocks, etc.
Assistive Technology Laws
In many cases, federal laws require businesses and government agencies to make assistive devices available to individuals with a hearing loss.
The Kentucky Legislature passed a "lemon law", KRS 151B.300 to 151B.335, to regulate warranties and service on assistive devices in the 1998 General Assembly.
Consumers should be aware of these laws as they are a protective measure for individuals that need/use assistive devices.
Finding Assistive Devices
Numerous vendors offer assistive technology devices. Check with individual vendors to see the various equipment they offer and compare prices.
Appearing on this list does not constitute an endorsement by the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. KCDHH shall not be responsible for the acts of any listed resource nor omissions.
Kentucky Resources for Assistive Technology
The Kentucky Assistive Technology Services (KATS) Network was set up in response to Federal Law 100-407. It is the project operating within the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet that serves the assistive technology needs of the people of Kentucky. It consists of a statewide network of organizations and individuals connecting to enhance the availability of assistive technology devices and services to improve the productivity and quality of life for individuals with disabilities. Through advocacy activities and capacity building efforts, the mission of this collaborative system is to make assistive technology information, devices and services easily obtainable for people of any age and any disability.
The Kentucky Assistive Technology Loan Program is a joint effort of the Kentucky Assistive Technology Loan Corporation, the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Cabinet for Workforce Development and Fifth Third Bank, Kentucky Inc., the Kentucky Developmental Disabilities Planning Council and the Kentucky Assistive Technology Service Network.
Kentucky Assistive Technology Loan Corporation (KATLC)
275 East Main Street
Mail Stop 2 E-K
Frankfort, KY 40621
The KATLC operates a low-interest loan program funded by both private and public money to help Kentuckians with disabilities obtain assistive technology to improve their independence or quality of life. Hearing aids and other communication devices are included.