Friday, October 9, 2009

Assistive Technology Re-Use: Reduce - Reuse-Recycle

What do I do with assistive technology when I don't need it anymore? How do I recycle technology equipment with electronic components? How do I find people that may want what I have to sell or give away? These questions and more are answered by the growing AT reuse movement.

Hundreds of organizations around the country are involved in some sort of assistive technology reuse. The goal of AT reuse is to work together to get still useful AT into the hand of those who need it. The following links will provide more information about the national AT reuse movement:

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
This site provides information about the what, who, why and how of the national AT reuse movement. A link to the phamplet Recycle Your AT can be found at this site.

Pass It On Center
The Pass It On Center is a national AT reuse technical assistance resource funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration. Find a local reuse program, attend an information Webinar on AT reuse or get information about the national AT reuse conference at the Pass It On Center Website.

A few Minnesota agencies that provide AT reuse services:
Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota's Medical Equipment Loan Program
This loan program collects, cleans and repairs used medical equipment for short-term loan. Loan Sites: St. Paul, Rochester, St. Cloud and Willmar.

Minnesota Computers for Schools
The MCFS is a nonprofit organization that focuses on re-purposing technology as well as helping schools recycle older technology. MCFS places high quality refurbished computer systems across the state of Minnesota. Their Special Kids Program is designed to help students with frequent absencess or special needs get an affordable high quality computer. Applications are accepted during the school year.

Minnesota Multiple Sclerosis Society Equipment Exchange & Loan Pool Program
the program is available on the MS Website and allows people to donate, sell or trade medical equipment. It also allows users to search for equipment.

PACER SUPER Service (Still Useful Product and Equipment Referral)
The PACER SUPER Service connects people seeking to buy used assistive technology with sellers. Buyers contact sellers of used equipment directly. PACER does not provide technical support for products. PACER requests all items for sale are clean and in working condition, but can not in any way guarantee the quality of the product.
PCs for People
PCs for People is a MN nonprofit organization that refurbishes donated computes and gets them into the hands of people with limited access to technology.

STARTE (Minnesota STAR Technology Exchange)
STAR Tecnology Exchange (STARTE) is an online classified ads, service that promotes the reuse of assistive technology. the goal is to get technology that is not being used into the hands of people who will benefit from the technology.

United Cerebral Palsy of Central Minnesota - Computers Go Round
Computers Go Round is a program of UCP of Central Minnesota that distributes quality recycled computers to children and adults with any disability for a nominal fee.

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