Computer Refurbishing Program

Computers for Ohioans with Disabilities

As you are well aware, all areas of life and work are being affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. Because of this, Assistive Technology of Ohio is temporarily closed and staff are working from home for the next several weeks while we deal with the worldwide pandemic. As a result, for the time being, our Computer Refurbish and Redistribution Program has been suspended. Applications can still be downloaded and are sill being accepted and mailed when requested. However, do not send any payment at this time. Once life returns to a more normal pace and workers and students are allowed to return to campus, we will resume operations and refurbish computers once again. If you have questions, you may continue to call us. We are still working and will be checking voicemail frequently and responding to questions. Thank you for your interest in our program and your patience during this difficult and unprecedented time.

 

a man working with computer

Imagine trying to go to college or look for a professional job in this day and age without knowing how to use a computer!

Entire industries are devoted to developing software and hardware that make it easier for people with disabilities to use the computer. People with visual impairments, neuromuscular disorders and other disabilities are now able access the computer through the wonders of computer-based assistive technology. But in order for these software programs to have any meaning, a person with a disability has to have one very important piece of equipment — the computer itself.

Assistive Technology of Ohio has a statewide program that helps people with disabilities obtain their own computer. Knowledge of how to use a computer, the Internet, e-mail and social networking (examples: twitter, facebook, linked-in) are becoming fundamental basic skills necessary for community living, employment and education. Recent studies have shown that, due to financial considerations, people with disabilities are among the most likely group of people to not own a computer. People with disabilities — those who can benefit the most from owning and using a computer — are often the most likely not to be able to afford one.

How Do I Get a Computer?

 

zoom text on the computer screen

Contact AT Ohio first at 866-801-7306 (toll free) or 614-688-3222 to find out the availability of computers or to request an application.

To participate in the program you MUST submit an application packet which includes an application form, a participation agreement form and a Disability Verification Letter (not a form).The disability verification letter should be signed by a professional such as a doctor, rehabilitation counselor, case manager, school principal, special education teacher, guidance counselor, etc., on their business, school, or organization letterhead verifying that the consumer qualifies as a person with a disability as defined by the American with Disabilities Act. (Please DO NOT send IEP documents, medical histories or Social Security benefit information.) The signee of this letter is also verifying that the person is a legal resident of the state of Ohio.

To obtain copies of the application forms, please download them below in either pdf or word format. Copies of the forms can also be obtained by contacting Assistive Technology of Ohio at 866-801-7306 (toll free) or 614-688-3222.

NOTE: DO NOT send any money until you have been contacted by AT Ohio and received instructions and confirmation on computer availability. There is a waiting list, and computers are shipped accordingly.

FORMS

Computer Application - Microsoft Word format

Computer Application - pdf format

Participation Agreement - Microsoft Word format

Participation Agreement - pdf format

ADDITIONAL COMPUTER REDISTRIBUTION FAQs

Who is Eligible?

disabled man at computer

Any legal Ohio resident with a disability and a need for a computer is eligible for the program. The program is also open to families who have children with disabilities, as long as the computer is used primarily by the child. Computers are limited to one per household. Because requests for computers usually exceed our supply, persons receiving computers cannot request another computer for three years.

What Type of Computer Will I Receive?

Because the AT Ohio Computer Redistribution Program accepts various types of computer donations, we cannot fulfill requests for particular brands. Our minimum specifications are as follows: 1 gigahertz (GHz) processor or faster/newer, 40 gigabytes hard drive, 512 megabytes of RAM, modem (if needed), CD drive, flat-panel monitor, speakers, keyboard and a mouse. We do not and cannot make special accommodations with regards to RAM, hard drives or processor speeds. Each computer comes with either a LINUX-based or a Windows™-based operating system and a compatible open-source office suite.

Please note: Although we solicit and accept laptop computer donations, we rarely have laptop computers in stock. We do not keep a separate laptop computer waitlist. By applying to our program, you are applying for a desktop computer. If you want to make a request for a laptop, you will receive one if one is available, when you reach the top of the waitlist. More than likely, you will receive a desktop computer.

In addition, we accept Macintosh computer donations; however, they are rarely in stock and will be distributed when available. AT Ohio currently does not have an agreement with Apple to distribute Mac OS operating systems.

What Is the Cost?

The cost of the program to consumers is $60. DO NOT send any money until AT Ohio notifies you that a computer is available for you. AT Ohio cannot accept debit or credit cards. Payment must be a check or money order.

Where Do I Send the Completed Application?

The mailing address is:

Assistive Technology of Ohio
Area 200
1314 Kinnear Road
Columbus, OH 43212
ATTN: Eric Rathburn
E-mail: atohio

How Long Will It Take For The Computer to Arrive?

Once the application and all other accompanying information is received, you will be placed on a waiting list. Please be patient, as the waiting list can be long. The amount of time to receive a desktop computer can vary from a few weeks to several months, depending on the number of computers in stock and the donations of computers received.

AT Ohio Blog

Many Anniversaries to Remember, Learn and Grow
 

As many folks know, July 26th was the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). October is the 75th anniversary of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. June 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the national Vocational Rehabilitation program.

In Ohio, 2020 is the 50th anniversary of Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (housing our state’s vocational rehabilitation program) and by legislation in 2016, the month of October is designated as "Disability History and Awareness Month." During this month, schools in Ohio are encouraged to provide instruction and events focused on disability history, people with disabilities, and the disability rights movement.

Many states designate either the first two weeks or the entire month of October as Disability History and Awareness Month.

Given the intersection of all these observances, let’s ponder a few questions.

Many times when you meet someone their first question is “What do you do?” Employment seems to be the first measure by which we assign identification or even value to a new acquaintance. Next, might come where do you go to school, where do you live, who are your parents, what else do you do or where do you volunteer?

Employment and access to opportunities are a strong part of everyone’s ongoing growth, learning, and progress. As a state and a nation, we are continuing to recognize that people with disabilities, like all citizens, learn and contribute and should have equal access to growth and value in their communities.

People with disabilities have pushed, advocated, and even changed laws to achieve “nothing about us without us” so that we can make our own choices, join the organizations we choose, work in our communities, and look to leaders that are people with disabilities themselves – or perhaps be a leader yourself.

We still have a long, long way yet to wheel, walk, and crutch to real equality. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019, 19.3 percent of persons with a disability were employed. In contrast, the employment-population ratio for persons without a disability was 66.3 percent. While we have strengthened Home and Community-Based Services, many do not have the informed choice to live where they wish.

Knowing our history helps to inform our future. As we focus on disability history, the history of another movement reminds us too. 2020 is the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage. Remember women who simply picketed the White House for the right to vote were jailed for 6-7 months, some on multiple occasions, and were force fed through tubes down the nose and throat to stop hunger strikes.

Read the National Council on Disability 1986 report – Toward Independence: An Assessment of Federal Laws and Programs Affecting Persons with Disabilities - With Legislative Recommendations – that lead to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Remember and read about Justin Dart – many call him the father of the ADA – as he traveled across the county gathering stories and data supporting the need for and passage of ADA as well.

Learn about the sit-ins in federal buildings by people with disabilities & the disability community to push the issuance of long-delayed regulations on Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Capitol Crawl up the U.S. Capitol steps where many left their crutches and wheelchairs to show the lack of access to the U.S. Capitol and the immediate need for the ADA. Remember and review the demonstrations at Gallaudet University to appoint the first University President who is a person who is deaf.

Remember how hard we have worked for equal access to technology in the workplace and how technology has improved access to reasonable accommodations – and the Assistive Technology Act. In this time of COVID-19, it is technology that has kept us connected and increased access as many with underlying conditions have sheltered in place.

October this year is both a time to learn from new pressures and opportunities, to care for ourselves & others, and learn of our anniversaries. As we move forward, Assistive Technology of Ohio will continue to bring you news & interviews via technology, transcripts, and articles as we continue to learn current ideas, issues, and happenings.

My hope is Ohio’s Disability History and Awareness Month gives future generations the opportunity to learn from our past too

 

-- Mark Seifarth, AT Ohio consultant