Recycle Your Assistive Technologies
Editor: Most of us already recycle our hearing aids, but have you
ever wondered about recycling other assistive technology you no longer
use? How about that old ALD?
OSERS has a program to do just that! Here to tell you all about it is
Assistant Secretary John H. Hager.
The U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education and
Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) is pleased to share with you an
important message about the newly released brochure, "Recycle Your
On Feb. 1, 2001, President Bush announced the New Freedom
Initiative-a comprehensive program to promote the full participation of
people with disabilities in all areas of society. One of the pillars of
the NFI is dedicated to increasing access to assistive and universally
designed technologies, expanding educational opportunities and promoting
full access to community life for all Americans.
OSERS has an important role in working to achieve these objectives by
ensuring that youths with disabilities are prepared with the training
and skills they need to take advantage of the postsecondary outcomes of
competitive employment, education, independent living and community
Assistive technology gives individuals, particularly those with
disabilities, the freedom to explore the possibilities of work, school
and home, and helps to ensure that all individuals who want to work can
find a job.
For many people with disabilities, assistive technologies are helping
to defeat dependence, frustration and isolation: text telephones for
those with hearing impairments; computer monitors for those with visual
impairments; lighter wheelchairs. These modern technologies make the
world more accessible, yet they are often unattainable to the people who
need them but cannot afford them. We can help.
The reuse of assistive technology devices is an important and
practical way to meet the needs of so many who would otherwise go
without or who could benefit from higher-level devices. Reusing AT
provides devices to people who need them, saves resources, benefits
taxpayers, prevents waste, decreases health risks, helps people maintain
their level of care and builds confidence in the system. Recycling and
reuse of assistive technology just makes common sense.
It is abundantly clear that access to AT has a tremendous impact on
the successful transition of young adults. For many people with
disabilities, AT is an essential support to daily living. A person may
depend on a wheelchair, walker, special computer keyboard,
speech-generating device or other AT device at home, at school or at
work. Finding ways to make AT more available is something with which few
could argue. Our task is now clear: We must strive to remove barriers
for every American with or without a disability. Toward that end, I am
pleased to make available the attached accessible brochure, Recycle Your
This brochure provides information about AT reuse programs, as well
as resources available to those interested in learning more about these
programs across the country.
OSERS looks forward to continued partnerships to achieve America's
goal of access and independence for all. We hope that this brochure will
prove to be a helpful resource for those who recognize the reuse of AT
as one of the most encouraging ways to make AT more available to
individuals who need it.
John H. Hager Assistant Secretary
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
U.S. Department of Education
To view the text version of the brochure, visit:
To download a PDF version of the brochure, click: