Campus: NORTHRIDGE -- January 1, 1900

CSUN Receives $1 Million, Two-Year Grant to Help Disabled Californians Obtain Assistive Technology

Cal State Northridge has received a $1.1 million, two-year grant from the state Department of Rehabilitation to help Californians with disabilities obtain assistive technology to improve their independence and increase their productivity. Northridge is the only agency in the state to receive the grant, which will fund a collaborative effort between CSUN's National Center on Deafness and its Center on Disabilities to provide financial assistance to people with disabilities throughout the state so they can buy assistive technology.

"It is an honor that we were selected to implement such an important program for the state and its residents," said Mary Ann Cummins-Prager, CSUN's interim vice president of student affairs and director of the Center on Disabilities. "The acquisition of assistive technology can make such a difference in a person's quality of life."

The federal Assistive Technologies (AT) Act requires each state to support and finance activities that increase access to and funding for assistive technology devices and services by people with disabilities. Northridge has been charged with implementing California's enforcement of the act.

Under the grant, the university will create three programs: an AT Device Loan Program and an AT Loan Reutilization Program, which both are supported through federal grant funds, and an AT and Transportation Loan Guarantee Program, which is supported solely through state funds. The university will be working with 10 community-based organizations across the state to ensure that Californians with disabilities know about the programs and have access to them.

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"This is a great opportunity for people with disabilities in all communities throughout California to access flexible loans to enhance their daily lives," said Rosyln Rosen, director of CSUN's National Center on Deafness.

Cal State Northridge's National Center on Deafness has served more than 2,500 students who are deaf and hard of hearing since its inception more than 40 years ago. NCOD provides communication access, leadership opportunities, scholarships, academic advisement, tutoring and direct communication classes each year to approximately 200 students who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Through a wide array of services, CSUN's Center on Disabilities helps Cal State Northridge students realize their academic and career goals. A team of disability and educational specialists are available to students on a year-round basis. In addition, students may receive training on assistive technology, access the help of peer mentors, and are encouraged to participate in the wide range of cultural and social activities offered at the university. The center also sponsors national and international assistive technology training programs to expand the knowledge base of professionals and introduce newcomers to the disability field.

Carmen Ramos Chandler, 818-677-2130,

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