Assistive Technology Resources
FAAST offers a wide range of resources on topics from building accessibility to employment. Each publication in the assistive technology resource library features a linked table of contents, so that you can freely navigate right to the topic that interests you. Check out the latest in the AT Resource Library. Click here.
National Disability Institute (NDI) has developed a self-paced benefits training for families of persons with disabilities, disability service providers and self-advocates. "The Changing Face of Benefits" training is designed to provide insight on the impact of earnings on public benefits and incentives to work, financial stability programs, investments and more.
Sometimes we all need legal advice or services that may be difficult to obtain or afford. Below are a few examples of helpful assistive legal services that are free or at low-cost to eligible Floridians.
The Senior Legal Helpline (1-888-895-7873) provides free legal advice and brief services by telephone to eligible Florida residents age 60 and older, for civil (not criminal) legal problems. Sometimes seniors face problems that they cannot resolve themselves. At these times, they often need legal assistance from a trained attorney. Not all seniors can afford their own attorney or even know where to turn to find one. A number of legal resources are available in Florida to help seniors with legal issues.
The Senior Legal Helpline – 1-888-895-7873 – also provides solutions to seniors to help them resolve their legal problems, makes referrals to state and local regulatory agencies and, when it is determined that court representation is necessary, helps seniors find legal providers in their communities.
Eligible callers are scheduled for a free telephone consultation with an attorney or paralegal. Most callers will receive answers to their legal questions during the initial telephone appointment. Clients may also qualify for referrals to providers who offer free legal services in the clients’ local communities. These providers work in partnership with the Senior Legal Helpline and the Department of Elder Affairs to ensure that low-income and other vulnerable elderly Floridians have equal access to legal remedies.
Title III of the Older Americans Act makes funds available specifically for legal assistance to the elderly. The Title III Legal Services provider for a particular area can be identified through the local Elder Helpline. Eligibility for these services is based on age, not income, so elders should provide their age if they call. Priorities are established on the types of legal matters handled. For more information on Florida Senior Legal Services, go to: http://elderaffairs.state.fl.us/doea/legal_services.php.
FAAST also offers 11 user-friendly self-help resource guides, several of which are helpful to older Americans and their families that provide hyperlinks to federal/state laws, regulations, and wide-ranging resources to websites, articles, and other helpful information. For example, a General Resource and Self-Help Information for Older Individuals with Disabilities, a Resource Guide for Individuals with Disabilities in Nursing Homes and Other Health Care Facilities, and a general self-help resource guide to help with Access to Non-emergency Medicaid Transportation for Individuals with Disabilities Receiving Medicaid. These guides can be found on the FAAST website at: www.faast.org/resources/library.
Florida Legal Services, Inc. (FLS) “is a nonprofit organization founded in 1973 to provide civil legal assistance to indigent persons who would not otherwise have the means to obtain a lawyer. A statewide support center, dedicated to ensuring poor people have equal access to justice, FLS fulfills its mission primarily by working with local legal aid and legal service programs to improve their ability to provide legal assistance to those in need in their communities. Providing service delivery coordination, training, case consultation and technical assistance to all legal service providers in Florida, FLS also is the coordinating organization for the first in the nation comprehensive Florida Supreme Court Voluntary Pro Bono Attorney Plan.”
FloridaLawHelp.org is administered by Florida Legal Services, Inc. and is produced in cooperation with Pro Bono Net and the legal service organizations and government agencies throughout Florida and the United States. Providing information about organizations offering legal help to moderate and low income Floridians, FloridaLawHelp.org is administered by Florida Legal Services, Inc.
Not all programs assist with all areas of the law. In some cases, you may be referred to another legal assistance program by the program you contact.
The Florida Bar Lawyer Referral Service and local bar association lawyer referral services assist consumers in contacting an attorney. You can reach the statewide service toll-free at 1-800-342-8011, or you can find the number for your local bar association in your local phone directory. Under the Florida Bar Lawyer Referral Service, lawyers charge clients $25 (local bar-sponsored program charges range from $20 to $50) for the initial half-hour office consultation. The Bar has four specialty panels: Low-Fee, Elderly, Disability and AIDS. If your personal circumstances qualify you for referral to one of these specialty panels, you will receive a free initial 30-minute office consultation. After the first 30 minutes, fees are negotiable, based on the client's ability to pay.
The Pro Bono/Legal Aid Directory from FloridaLawHelp.org is a guide to free legal information and legal services in Florida. The web site contains legal educational materials, sample forms, and information about the courts, community resources and free and low-cost legal aid programs to help you with your legal problem.
The Legal Aid in Florida consumer pamphlet also has the listing of all Legal Aid offices around the state.
The Legal Services Corporation, the single largest funder of civil legal assistance in the nation has many resources for providing civil legal assistance to low-income Americans.
The Bar Issue Paper on Pro Bono Publico provides the hours of pro bono legal assistance donated to the poor and dollars contributed to legal aid organizations reported by Florida Bar members.
Martindale-Hubbell is a comprehensive legal directory to find an attorney and other pertinent legal information. The online destinations contain profiles for over one million lawyers and firms in the United States, Canada and 160 other countries, serving as a fundamental legal resource and marketing tool.
For more information, go to: www.martindale.com
Authorized under the Assistive Technology Act of 2004 (29 U.S.C. §3004).
Each state and protectorates of the United States have protection and advocacy (P&A) systems to provide assistance to individuals with disabilities and their families. The State Grant for Protection and Advocacy Services related to Assistive Technology are charged with:
(1) conducting consumer-responsive activities, including activities that will lead to increased access, for individuals with disabilities, to funding for assistive technology devices and assistive technology services;
(2) engaging in informal advocacy to assist in securing assistive technology devices and assistive technology services for individuals with disabilities;
(3) engaging in formal representation for individuals with disabilities to secure systems change, and in advocacy activities to secure assistive technology devices and assistive technology services for individuals with disabilities;
(4) developing and implementing strategies to enhance the long-term abilities of individuals with disabilities and their family members, guardians, advocates, and authorized representatives to advocate the provision of assistive technology devices and assistive technology services to which the individuals with disabilities are entitled under law other than this chapter;
(5) coordinating activities with [other] protection and advocacy services funded through sources other than this chapter, and coordinating activities with the capacity building and advocacy activities carried out by the lead agency; and
(6) effectively allocating funds made available under this section to improve the awareness of individuals with disabilities about the accessibility of assistive technology and assist such individuals in the acquisition, utilization, or maintenance of assistive technology devices or assistive technology services.
The PAAT Grant and Intake Manager, M. Ann Robinson, MS, CRC, CIRS, with Disability Rights Florida, recently stated that the Assistive Technology Act of 2004 refers to technology as “one of the primary engines for economic activity, education, and innovation in the Nation, and throughout the world.” Ms. Robinson also shared that the focus at Disability Rights Florida “is to make sure that the engine of technology is available to drive positive change for individuals with disabilities in all areas of life including community and institutional settings, health, education, employment, and independent living”. She reported that Disability Rights Florida engages in informal and formal advocacy to assist in securing assistive technology devices and services for individuals with disabilities. Disability Rights Florida also develops and implements strategies to enhance the long-term abilities of individuals with disabilities and their family members, guardians, advocates, and authorized representatives to advocate for assistive technology devices and services.
Ms. Robinson asked that you please contact Disability Rights Florida if you are experiencing challenges acquiring necessary AT devices and services. For more information on the PAAT Program and other Protection and Advocacy (P&A) programs as well as the Client Assistance Program, please visit: www.disabilityrightsflorida.org ; Voice toll-free 1-800-342-0823; and TDD 1-800-346-4127.