The term ‘assistive technology device’ means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.
The term ‘assistive technology service' means any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.
The Virgin Islands University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (VIUCEDD) is the lead agency for the Statewide Assistive Technology (AT) Program for the Virgin Islands. The VIUCEDD is directly responsible for conducting and overseeing the activities of the Statewide AT Program, which is called the Virgin Islands Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities (VITRAID).
Since 1996, VITRAID has provided residents of the Virgin Islands free access to information and referral services, including publications in accessible formats, on extensive topics related to disability rights. VITRAID has provided information on laws, policies, utilization of assistive technology, and funding opportunities for Assistive Technology. The mission of VITRAID is to increase the provision of, access to, and funding for assistive technology for residents of all ages and of all disabilities through a variety of comprehensive activities and services available across the Virgin Islands (VI).
VITRAID provides the following core programs:
Assistive Technology Demonstrations
Assistive Technology Loans
Assistive Technology State Financing
Assistive Technology Reutilization
VITRAID also provides information, assistance, training, and technical assistance on a variety of AT topics, as well as collaborates with state agencies and disability organizations statewide to improve and expand policies and practices to include greater access to and funding for AT.
VIUCEDD also houses The Virgin Islands Assistive Technology Foundation (VIATF). VITAF offers people with disabilities access to low-interest bank loans to purchase assistive technology devices and services. Under VIATF, the interest cost of the loan is significantly reduced, through interest buy-down, to a rate of 4 percent. While housed under VIUCEDD, VITAF is a separate 501(c)3, with its own governing board.
VIUCEDD administers the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program, also known as iCanConnect for the Virgin Islands. ICanConnect provides equipment and training to people with significant combined hearing and vision loss so they can stay connected to friends and family. iCanConnect puts that technology into the hands of these individuals to enhance their independence. For those who qualify for the program, technology and training for distance communication is provided free.
For more information about Assistive Technology Services please contact us here.