General News and Events

Connecticut Team Shares Highlights from State’s “Stay Connected” Program

Technology Can Help Ease Isolation During COVID-19

This fall, two Connecticut Department of Aging and Disability Services colleagues were joined by a Quinnipiac University professor to co-present highlights from “Stay Connected,” a statewide program that uses technology to help isolated individuals connect with family, friends and medical providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Connecticut’s “Stay Connected” program was highlighted during national presentations to the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs (ATAP) and Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs). The presenting team included the Department of Aging and Disability Services’ CT Tech Act Project Program Director Arlene Lugo and the State Unit on Aging’s Patricia Richardson, as well as Professor Nicholas Nicholson of Quinnipiac University’s School of Nursing.

As a result of the presentation, several states expressed interest in replicating the “Stay Connected” program, according to Lugo.

The “Stay Connected” program was implemented with funding from the March 2020 federal CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act), which provides economic supports and other critical resources to Americans who are negatively affected by the pandemic. “Stay Connected” is a statewide program operated out of the Connecticut Department of Aging and Disability Services in collaboration by the State Unit on Aging and the CT Tech Act Project.

Find an article about the program here:

To read about how the Stay Connected program is helping Connecticut seniors  and people with disabilities stay in touch read these posts:

Announcement News and Events

STAY CONNECTED: Helping Older Adults and Persons with Disabilities engage with medical providers, community, family and friends during COVID-19

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.


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.


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.


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: or


News and Events Product Spotlight

Why Birdsong?

Written by Aisha Azher, Chief of Staff

Birdsong Tablet 10 inch model








Technology is always advancing. The Birdsong Tablet, introduces aging seniors to technology in a confidence-building, easy-to-use way. Its big red Home button is ever-present on every screen. Just press it and you can return to the home page at any time. Never get lost, stuck or frustrated. Just tap one of the six large icons on the home screen and you are connected to the wide world around you! The Birdsong Tablet comes pre-loaded with 8000 pieces of engaging content. At your fingertips, you will find an extensive library of brain games, music, travel, lifelong learning lectures, classic TV/movies, news, and more. You are also just a click away from connecting with your loved ones through video chat, email, shareable photo albums, and more. One of the best things is that you don’t need to worry about cellular data limitation because the Birdsong Tablet runs off of your existing WiFi. So, you can use it to your heart’s content.

Older adult using the Birdsong touch screen tablet


To support the Stay Connected Program (Click this link to read the Stay Connected article), Birdsong has provided Tablets for use by the CT Tech Project AT Partners (EASTCONN, the NEAT Center at Oak Hill and UCP of Eastern CT) who are working on this initiative and able to provide remote and contactless demonstrations.

News and Events Product Spotlight

Featured Item: The GrandPad

Written by EASTCONN, Where Learning Comes to Life, Assistive Technology Library

During these uncertain times our reliance on technology to stay connected with family and friends is more important than ever.  Designed with seniors in mind,  the GrandPad simplifies the interface to the basic features offered in many other tablets.  With it’s large buttons and intuitive interface the GrandPad is a functional tablet for seniors.  The GrandPad can help seniors to stay connected by easily viewing family photos and videos, playing games, listening to music, checking emails, making phone calls, video chatting, and much more!

Interested Consortium Member districts can borrow this item by contacting any member of the AT Team or by emailing Carol Magliocco at