Response to Request for Information: NDIA – Designing an Early Childhood Assistive Technology Approach

This document addresses questions posed by the NDIA in a Request for Information regarding potential new ways of proving assistive technology to children under 7. While agreeing with the Agency’s contention that awareness of what AT is available remains a problem, we noted that access to appropriate capacity building supports is the more significant issue for children with blindness or vision loss. In response to proposition of an online marketplace for AT, we noted that various members already provide these, and they could be integrated into a larger system, though this process would be prohibitively costly. We also noted that many more expensive AT products should be provided only following an assessment, in order to avoid purchase of inappropriate products. In regard to suggestion of loan or library systems to facilitate reuse of technology, we noted that members running such systems, largely in state education, have found that most high-cost products in practice only have one user.

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