Q1: Do I need to pay to be a member?
The Birth to Three System has a contract with New England Assistive Technology (NEAT) and pays the membership fee, $500 per agency, for any Birth to Three provider agency that wishes to be a member.
Q2: I have a specific question. Who do I contact?
In an effort to best meet your needs, we are taking a team approach. All you need to do is reach out to: NEAT.B23@oakhillct.org, or call 860-243-2869 and we will be sure to match your particular need or inquiry with the right person – so you may meet one of many people on our team! This includes:
- Adaptive Equipment Services staff: Technicians, assistant technician, clerical support staff and long-time volunteers
- Assistive Technology Services staff: This group of professionals has decades of combined experience working with assistive technology, with their certifications and areas of expertise including, Speech Language Pathology, RESNA, Assistive Technology Applications Certificate Program (ATACP), blind/low vision, autism supports, AAC, etc. This team is overseen by the Director of Assistive Technology Services who is a certified Special Education teacher with a specialty in assistive technology. For a full list of NEAT staff names and bios, please visit our website at: https://assistivetechnology.oakhillct.org/our-team/
Q3: I have worked with NEAT for years. How is this year any different?
We have, proudly, been a part of the CT Birth to Three System for many years. This year there have been many changes at NEAT including new management. We have been examining all of our service provisions to meet the exciting and fast-paced innovations in assistive technology all while adapting to the challenging economic climate. To this end you may notice these differences to your NEAT membership this year:
- More opportunities for professional development and team capacity building
- Remote access to information and purchasing assistance, e.g. phone calls, e-mails, video conferencing, etc. and fewer one-to-one on-site visits
- A team approach: our assistive technology services team includes a variety of technology professionals to support your needs year-round. New to our team this year is a Speech Language Pathologist with specialization in AAC!
- More regular satisfaction surveys and opportunities to give us feedback about the membership services we provide
Q4: When can I come to NEAT to see what’s available?
We encourage you to contact us and inquire about our inventories before you make the trip to NEAT. We can be reached via email NEAT.B23@oakhillct.org, or phone 860-243-2869.
- Our Adaptive Equipment Service hours are: Monday – Friday, 8:30AM – 4:30PM. During those times, you may have a NEAT staff member show you the Birth to Three equipment inventory designated for your use. While you’re here, please shop around! We have lots of refurbished adaptive equipment and durable medical equipment for rent or sale.
- Our Lending Library inventory, which includes switches, toys, tablets with apps, communication devices, etc., is not open to the public and you must make an appointment with the team. We’d love to meet with you, so please make an appointment today! Additionally, you can browse our online inventory at https://assistivetechnology.oakhillct.org/lending-library.
Q5: What is the difference between borrowing equipment and borrowing devices?
- Adaptive “equipment” includes walkers, sitters, standers, adaptive strollers/wheelchairs, etc. that is part of the CT Birth to Three equipment inventory that is stored, cleaned, repaired, managed and maintained by our Adaptive Equipment Services staff at NEAT. There are designated racks in the basement of our building (33 Coventry St., Hartford) where you can browse the available equipment. This equipment is maintained by a team of technicians who can provide guidance and expertise on the appropriateness of the equipment for the child. There are specific forms for Birth to Three providers that must be completed when borrowing this equipment. This procedure is outlined in the Assistive Technology Procedure which can be found online at Connecticut Birth to Three System » For Providers » Procedures » Assistive Technology.
- Adaptive “devices” includes (but are not limited to) laptops with specialized software; iPads with learning, productivity and communication apps; low vision magnifiers; adapted board games and toys; mid-tech communication devices as well as eye gaze; capability switches and access assessment tool-kits; and so much more! An online inventory and loan application can be found at https://assistivetechnology.oakhillct.org/lending-library/. This inventory is designed to be a short term loan (30 days) to help in the decision making process.
- However, there is also an inventory of long-term loan communication devices available for children who need access to communication for an extended period of time. There are specific forms for Birth to Three providers that must be completed when borrowing these devices. This procedure is outlined in the Assistive Technology Procedure which can be found online at https://www.birth23.org/providers/provider-resources/procedures/.
Q6: My agency also provides services for school-aged children and adults with disabilities. Can they use my membership?
This is a great question! The answer is both “yes” and “no”.
Let us explain:
- Yes! Your entire agency can reap the benefits of a NEAT membership as long as they are not using a Birth to Three contracted benefit for non-Birth to Three children. For example: attending our events and webinars and borrowing a device from our Lending Library is fair game!
- Your entire agency cannot utilize Birth to Three contracted benefits for non-Birth to Three children. For example: adaptive equipment loans, long-term loans for communication, etc.
If you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact us at NEAT.B23@oakhillct.org, or 860-243-2869.