The Stay Connected Program is funded by the Administration for Community Living, Federal CARES Act in response to COVID-19. This a new program is operated out of the Dept of Aging and Disability Services in collaboration by the State Unit on Aging and the CT Tech Act Project.

Objective

To connect adults aged 18 years of age or older with a disability or adults sixty years of age or older to the most appropriate Assistive Technology (AT) to foster improved communication and connection with medical professionals, family/friends and the community during this pandemic when many of us are staying home to stay safe.

Process

All five Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) and Centers for Independent Living (CIL) in CT conduct Information & Referral with individuals who call their centers.  The AAAs & CILs will use a validated screening tool during calls to identify individuals who would gain the most from technology assistance. Eligible individuals will be referred to one of three CT Tech Act Project AT partner agencies for a remote technology consultation. The participating AT partner agencies are EASTCONN, the NEAT Center and UCP of Eastern CT. During this consultation, the AT Partner will recommend the best selection of AT device based on the person’s needs and preference. Various funding sources have been identified to assist with the purchase of the technology device and internet (when needed). Once the technology arrives, training will be provided to the individual and any support person in the home to assist in learning how to use the device to stay connected with loved ones, family, friends and medical providers. Connections to community supports will also be made to help the individual in continuing to utilize the device and engage with others.

Referrals

Refer individuals who would benefit to the “Stay Connected” program to their Area Agency on Aging (1-800-994-9422) or Center for Independent Living Program. For More Information contact: Patricia.Richardson@ct.gov or Arlene.Lugo@ct.gov.