Get Assistive Technology Advice
MassMATCH is working to help bring elders and adults with disabilities home through better access to assistive technology. Many elders and adults with disabilities would prefer to live in their home communities instead of long-term care facilities, but they need assistive technology in their homes to make such a transition successful. MassMATCH created TACLE—Transition Assistance to Community Living Environment—to ensure that no one who wants to move home is unable to for lack of a wheelchair, grab bar, or other AT.
TACLE began in 2007-2008 as a partnership with Easter Seals Massachusetts. That year, Easter Seals collaborated with Metro West Center for Independent Living to create a simple-to-use AT "assessment tool." The tool helps case managers, social workers, healthcare providers and other related professionals determine an individual's needs for AT and AT services. It also creates an effective protocol for making referrals for AT services.
In 2009 TACLE made the AT assessment tool available through five targeted training events. Attendees included staff members of Independent Living Centers and Aging Service Access Points, supported living providers, brain injury programs, and state agency personnel who provide transition assistance to people with disabilities and elders. The trainings reviewed the assessment tool, provided hands-on experience with low-tech AT devices, and reviewed equipment funding options. Future trainings are planned with Case Managers and providers involved in the Acquired Brain Injury Waivers - a new program to help up to 300 individuals with brain injuries move out of institutions into the community.
TACLE's goal is to lay a foundation for system-wide access to AT where it is needed the most, helping to bring adults with disabilities and elders back to their home communities.