Announcement ICT Accessibility News and Events

Excellent Resources from the AT3 Center

by Arlene Lugo, Program Director, CTTAP

The National Assistive Technology Act Technical Assistance and Training Center, also known as AT3, offers a wide array of resources on the AT3 Center website.

If you haven’t had a chance to take a look around I encourage you to do so. I’d like to call out two of the newer and very helpful resources:

  1. Free, self-directed Digital Accessibility Courses – three courses are now available with more to come! The courses include: 
    • “Accessibility in Microsoft Word,” 
    • “Web Accessibility Testing: Basic” and 
    • “Accessible Web Design & Content Authoring”

2. Explore AT – “a clearinghouse for information and resources on many different assistive technologies. You can find useful resources arranged by activity and disability.” 

Hope you will take a look around!


AT Reuse News and Events

CT Schools Can Transfer Assistive Technology Devices to Graduating Students

Written by Gretchen Knauff, Director, Office of Services for Persons with Disabilities, City of New Haven

When children and young adults with disabilities leave a school system there is often a gap in services, especially when they transition from school to the adult service system or higher education opportunities. This gap is really evident for students who receive and use Assistive Technology (AT) devices as tools to assist them in their school programs. Generally, AT devices are returned to the school and the student must wait for a device from the adult service system. This can take months, leaving the student without the AT needed to accommodate their disability.

Did you know that this doesn’t have to happen?

Connecticut General Statute §10-76y, Assistive Devices, addresses this issue by allowing school districts, regional educational service centers, the Department of Education, and all other state and local governmental agencies concerned with education to loan, lease, or transfer an assistive device to the student, the student’s family or to a profit or nonprofit entity that serves people with disabilities.

What if the school purchased the device less than a year ago?

It’s okay. The school can loan, lease, or transfer the assistive device at any time. It does not have to be a surplus item. If the device is sold or leased, the cost would be determined by the depreciated value of the device. The school district may also transfer the device without a cost to student or family. Any sale, lease or transfer is recorded in a written agreement between the school district and the student, family or organization receiving the device.

Is there a benefit for the school district?

Yes, there are multiple benefits. School districts were reluctant to sell the devices because the money would go back to the municipality and not the school district. CGS §10-76y(b) directs the funds from the sale or lease of an assistive device to remain with the local or regional board of education serving the student. The money can be used to buy updated equipment rather than having an obsolete piece of equipment sit in a closet collecting dust. Everybody wins, especially the student with the disability!

AT Reuse News and Events

Supply Chain Challenges, AT3 Center publication

AT Reutilization Programs have never been more important

State and Territory Assistive Technology Act Programs face a number of challenges, and two years into the pandemic, supply chain issues have rippled well beyond the ER and personal protective equipment to include non-COVID-related medical supplies. The AT3 Center Issue Brief highlights the work of Assistive Technology Reutilization Programs to bridge the gap. We hope you find this publication helpful and encourage you to share this Issue Brief with others.

News and Events Resource

Registering to Vote & Basic Rights of Voters with Disabilities

By Melissa Cruz, Parent Advocate

Are you registered to vote?  Are you eligible? To be eligible to vote in Connecticut, you must be a U.S. citizen and 18 years of age by the day of the election.

Vote button

You must also be a resident of a town in Connecticut. That’s it!

There are many options for voter registration. One of the fastest and easiest ways to register is online through the Secretary of State’s website: You also have the option of registering at the Department of Motor Vehicles, and many other organizations offer paper registration forms. Some of these locations include your local Town Clerk and Registrars of Voters Offices, colleges and universities, public libraries as well as the Departments of Rehabilitation Services, So

cial Services, Developmental Services, and Public Health.

On Election Day, if you forgot to register to vote, it’s NOT too late! You can still register and vote on the same day at your Town’s Election Day Registration location or (EDR). The EDR location is open during the same hours as the polling place, 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM.  Because you are registering to vote on the day of the Election, the I.D. requirements are more stringent. Some of the acceptable forms of I.D. include:

  • Driver’s License
  • Birth Certificate
  • Learner’s Permit
  • Utility Bill Within 30 Days of Election Day
  • Paystub
  • Paycheck
  • Current Bank Statement
  • Social Security Card

Advocacy Tip: If you are registering to vote on Election Day, check with your local Registrar of Voters about the location of the EDR and the requirements for I.D.s.  Get there early – they can be very busy places on Election Day!

Voters with Disabilities – What are your rights?  All polling places must be physically accessible to persons with disabilities. The route from the accessible parking to and through the polling place must be able to be navigated by individuals using mobility devices such as wheelchairs, canes, and crutches. The process or methods of voting must also be accessible to voters with disabilities.  Some of the other rights of voters with disabilities include:

  • Access to a sample ballot in large print.
  • Any videos for use by voters must be closed captioned.
  • Voting privately and independently – voting equipment for voters who cannot use a paper ballot to vote privately and independently.
  • Moving to the front of the line if the disability prevents the voter from waiting.
  • Unlimited time in the polling place to complete the ballot.
  • Have someone assist you with marking your ballot – there are some exceptions to this rule.
  • Vote using any method at the polling place. Currently, voters can manually complete a paper ballot or use the ballot marking device that must be available at all polling places and the Election Day Registration location.
  • Bring a service animal into the polling place.

If you are a person who has a guardian or conservator of person, you cannot be denied the right to vote unless a probate court has issued a specific order stating that your right to vote has been taken away.

Advocacy Tip: If your polling place is not accessible – on Election Day, contact t

he Elections Division of the Office of the Secretary of the State at (860) 509-6100.

After Election Day, you can file a complaint with State Elections Enforcement Commission at:

State Elections Enforcement Commission

55 Farmington Ave

Hartford CT 06105

Phone Number: 860 256-2940


Announcement News and Events

Emergency Broadband Benefit – The FCC Helps Households Connect During The Pandemic

During the pandemic, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is offering a temporary program to help households struggling to afford internet service. The benefit provides monthly discounts, and a one-time discount on the purchase of a laptop, desktop or tablet. Are you, or a friend or loved one, eligible? See the FCC’s Infographic below (Infographic – EBB or visit

Emergency Broadband Benefit – Helping Households Connect During The Pandemic, Offered by the FCC

FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit Infographic

News and Events Resource

UR Community Cares

Written by Donna Powell

If you’re looking for ways to help older adults age in place and persons with physical disabilities live more independently, you can now refer people to UR Community Cares.  This nonprofit organization, based in Manchester and covering all of Conn., is making great strides in matching up homebound residents and others who need safe-distanced assistance from volunteers living nearby. Needs can range from temporary (recovery from surgery) to permanent (no longer able to use stairs for laundry).  Service includes household tasks, yard work and companionship visits such as pick-up/delivery of groceries and other essential errands.  Participants are background-checked and follow COVID-19 safety protocols. There is no charge for services or for the secure online enrollment at Visits can be scheduled weekly, monthly or as needed, and pre-scheduling allows for caregiver respite opportunities.

Co-founder and president Michelle Puzzo is available to schedule an online informational meeting and website demonstration with your organization. Please email or call 860-430-4557.   UR Community Cares is also seeking new board members, advisors, volunteers and sponsors.

General News and Events

Free CRISKids Resources During COVID-19

CRISKids Audio Library

CRIS is offering free, temporary log-in credentials to educators, parents and students to access the CRISKids Audio Library during the pandemic. The CRISKids Audio Library is quite extensive, with more than 1,000 recordings, nearly all requested by teachers in Connecticut. Access to the recordings will be free and available on any Wi-Fi connected device or smartphone, as well as through our CRIS Radio mobile app.  Contact Laura Boogaert at to receive free login credentials and instructions on how to access the service.  

General News and Events

Independent Living Centers Use Virtual Strategies to Offer Critical Support

Republished  from Connecticut Association of Centers for Independent Living (CACIL)

As an Independent Living Advocate, Katie Smolinsky supports and guides people with disabilities through finding ways to live life in the community, such as learning how to use transportation, applying for benefits and finding affordable housing. She also helps with day-to-day living skills, like budgeting.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic closed Connecticut’s five Independent Living Center (ILC) offices, Katie met with consumers in-person to establish their goals and plan to help them reach maximum independence.

Today, Katie can’t meet in person, which is especially challenging when working with deaf consumers and more important than ever for every consumer during this crisis. But through video phone and other conferencing technology, where she utilizes her fluency in American Sign Language, Katie is able to maintain a connection.

Katie Smolinsky “I’m the person who stands behind them, cheering them on with encouragement and accountability,” Katie says. “Working as an advocate is an incredible way to empower individuals to live independently.”

Connecticut’s ILCs are one of the state’s most cost-effective programs, making it possible for thousands of people to live in their communities. Katie is just one of dozens of ILC staffers across the state who continue to work every day to provide essential services.

Thank you for your continued support of Connecticut’s Independent Living Centers!


You can reach out to the Centers Independent Living in your area

  • Independence Unlimited, Hartford, 860-523-5021
  • Independence Northwest, Naugatuck, 203-729-3299
  • Disabilities Network of Eastern CT, Norwich, 860-823-1898
  • Access Independence, Stratford, 203-378-6977
  • Center for Disability Rights, West Haven, 203-934-7077

For more staff spotlights and information on CACIL visit their page on Facebook: