By Taniah Najih | Timberland Regional Library
Area residents wanting to try out an assistive device can look no further than their local Timberland Library.
Timberland Regional Library (TRL) offers a variety of assistive devices available for checkout. Offering the devices allows patrons a chance to try out the technology, said Timberland Regional Library Content and Access Director Andrea Heisel.
“Because of our assistive devices collection, library patrons have an opportunity to try out a device in the environment where it will be used,” Heisel said. “This gives them a no-cost option for testing to see if an item will work for their needs before making a financial investment.”
Assistive technology includes any device that is used to sustain or improve the functional abilities of an individual with a disability. A device can be high or low tech, off the shelf or specially designed.
TRL is one of three partners in Washington state that lends assistive technology through participation with the Washington Assistive Technology Act Program (WATAP). WATAP is housed at the University of Washington’s Center for Technology and Disability Studies. The program is supported by a grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living and other funding sources.
To find out more on TRL’s available assistive devices, patrons can do the following:
- Visit TRL’s Checkout Assistive Devices webpage or enter “WATAP” in the search bar in the online catalog.
- View description and photo of each item online.
- Ask at their local library’s information desk to see a printed catalog of available items.
Patrons can then place a hold on an item of interest and the item will be ready for pick up at the library of their choice within a few days, depending on availability. Devices can be checked out for up to three weeks
An active TRL library card is needed to checkout assistive devices. Items must be returned inside any TRL library; they cannot be returned via bookdrop.
WATAP offers resources and services to people who face challenges related to disability and aging to help in the selection and use of assistive technology.
“As an organization, we are grateful for the support of WATAP, which funds the assistive devices we offer,” Heisel said.