Assistive Technology Grant Program
There are a lot of social services for the blind and many of them can help you find assistive technology as an aid to become more independent. For those with hearing and sight loss, there are special programs which offer support service providers to help you access your community as well as special adaptive technology to assist with both sensory losses. The organization also has a credit union for all blind members. This allows them to get low interest rates for assistive technology they may need. The Assistive Technology Grant Program provides financial assistance to people with sight loss so they can acquire expensive assistive devices which make them more independent. This may include: a Braille Embosser, a computer with voice or screen enlargement, special magnifiers, digital recorders, talking GPS etc. The individual with sight loss will pay 25% of the cost of the assistive device while grant money is used to pay the remainder. Depending on the need, UCB will also train you how to use the assistive technology like JAWS or Zoom Text. A lot of times we see people who are blind and receive assistive technology such as JAWS from the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation and they do not receive any training how to use this technology. They only know how to turn it on, but with the right training, this technology allows a blind person to navigate their computers and become connected again. Depending on your case and if you are a member, we can train you how to use this vital assistive technology.
While developing VoiceView for Fire tablets, we were also working on bringing VoiceView to our Kindle e-readers. Kindle e-readers are beloved by our customers because they are purpose-built for reading and create a haven so customers can lose themselves in their books. We are excited to say that, today, we have brought VoiceView to our Kindle e-readers, starting with the Kindle Paperwhite, so that visually impaired customers can enjoy reading on our Kindle e-readers.
VoiceView for Kindle, which uses Amazon's natural language text-to-speech voices (formerly known as IVONA) lets visually impaired customers read millions of Kindle books and navigate the Kindle Paperwhite via speech feedback. Like VoiceView on our Fire tablets, VoiceView for Kindle supports linear and touch navigation, and the same broad range of speech feedback rates and earcons. Likewise, we developed a tutorial with multiple lessons that users can return to at any time.
We do not know what the future of the DSBVI holds, but the State Office of Rehabilitation will still be delegating funds to the blind who want to be trained and rehabilitated for work. Many of you may have heard of the huge change in Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired made by the past Legislature. The Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DSBVI) will be located under the Department of Workforce Services. Formerly, the Division was placed under the Board of Education, where it enjoyed the supervision of the Board as well as the less competition for resources.
Technology Fund Application Form
If you are a member and want to download the Technology Fund Application Form for the Assistive Technology Grant, please fill out and return by mail to The Utah Council of the Blind for low interest rates for assistive technology:
Please download and read the attached policy and guidelines for obtaining the Adaptive Technology Grant from the UCB: Download the UCB Technology Grant Policy.
If you are a client of the O.R. and live in our area, You can contact us if you want to make an appointment for an assessment at:
Utah Council of the Blind
ph (801) 299-0670
or (800) 273-4569
fax (801) 292-6046
Would you like to Volunteer?
If you want to be a volunteer, please contact us at: (801) 299-0670
You can also download and print the Volunteer form but you must contact us before you can volunteer. All volunteers must be screened and approved before they can participate.