Eastern Panhandle Technology Access Center
P.O. Box 987, 300 S. Lawrence St.
Charles Town, West Virginia 25424
Voice & TDD: 304-725-6473
FAX: 304-728-4814

Background Information

The Eastern Panhandle Technology Access Center, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. We are dedicated to changing the lives of people with disabilities through technology. We have been in existence for approximately four years, and have a close partnership with the Jefferson County Parent Educator Resource Center. We are a member of a national organization, The Alliance for Technology Access. This is a collaboration of 40 assistive technology centers like ours, and 70 vendor members, each of whom contribute training, products or discounts to each of the centers. We also have widespread community support; we are a United Way Agency and also receive substantial inkind gifts from our local school system. We have a contract with West Virginia University to provide assistive technology services to the eight counties of the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. We are also entering into a partnership with the Lightstone Foundation, Inc., which helps entrepreneurs with start up business funds. We feel that many people with disabilities may be able to start their own home business, with help from Lightstone and the use of assistive technology.

Our Mission

    Our mission is multi-faceted. We can:
  1. Provide hands-on consultations to determine which assistive or adaptive devices or equipment could help people with disabilities of all ages enrich their lives by making the activities of daily living, schoolwork and employment more accessible.
  2. Train parents, teachers and employers to use assistive technology to facilitate work for students and employees with disabilities.
  3. Give computer demonstrations.
  4. Help with adapted toy programs.
  5. Facilitate workshops and users groups.
  6. Offer equipment and software lending.
  7. Conduct minority and low income outreach.
  8. Assist with early intervention strategies.
  9. Supply parent support and advocacy.
  10. Furnish transition planning and advocacy training for young adults.
  11. Offer computer camps.
  12. Accommodate problem solving. The center is linked with other centers across the nation by a computer network. If we donít have answers for technology-related questions, we have the ability to send out messages to get information from others who have more expertise than we do.
  13. Provide suggestions for modifications to make your home or business more accessible to people with disabilities.
  14. Serve as an information and referral service, giving technical support and
  15. Work on other projects, as needed.

Our Services

Our services are available to people of all ages who have a disability, their families, and teachers and employers, at no cost.

With the rapid advances being made in technology today, EPTAC can play a vital role not only in the lives of people with disabilities but our whole community. Technology can help people with disabilities become independent and productive citizens.

EPTAC is working to redefine human potential by making technology a regular part of the lives of people with disabilities. We accomplish this by providing easy access to conventional and assistive technologies, related services, and information resources which enable people to achieve success, independence, and productivity.

EPTAC recognizes the paramount importance of enabling individuals with disabilities and their family members to make their own decisions about technology by arming them with the best possible information. It is the mission of EPTAC to awaken people to technologyís vast potential. We are dedicated to pushing the limits of convention - people who ask not "whether" something can be done, but only "how" it can be accomplished.

    We are a resource and demonstration program that:
  1. Utilizes technology to equalize opportunities for people with disabilities;
  2. Is consumer driven, consumer responsive, and consumer centered;
  3. Focuses on abilities and positive goals rather than on deficits and remediation for people with disabilities;
  4. Builds our programs using a consumer/family/professional collaborative model;
  5. Networks to more effectively accomplish the mission.

Based on a spirit of collaboration and partnership, EPTAC is driven by adults and children with disabilities, their families and friends, teachers and therapists, employers, service providers, technology vendors, professional organizations, and community agencies. All share the belief that meaningful and lasting change occurs when the search for technological solutions begins with individuals defining their own dreams and expectations.

    Our values are:
  1. People with disabilities have the right to maximum independence and participation in all environments, without barriers.
  2. Technology should be harnessed to diminish or eliminate environmental barriers for people with disabilities.
  3. People with disabilities have the right to control and direct their own choices, and the right to access the information they need in order to make informed decisions according to their goals and interests.
  4. People with disabilities have the right to employ assistive technologies and to obtain necessary training to maximize their independence and productivity.

Future Plans

On November 1, 1997, we were fortunate enough to move into a larger facility, rent free, and utilities paid by the Jefferson County Board of Education. We now have a unique opportunity to expand and fulfill our dreams for service to our community, but especially to those individuals with disabilities. To that end, we are writing many grants. Up until this point we have been working primarily as volunteers, but now we feel that we will be able obtain some funding for salaries and benefits. We are also seeking grants for enough computers for an expanded computer lab with a network server, tables, chairs, and extra telephones. We are also writing grants to pay for professional development, accounting services, insurance, software, scanners, a Braille printer, alternative and augmentative communication devices, other adaptive devices, a television and VCR for use in our videotape library.

Eastern Panhandle Technology Access Center
P.O. Box 987, 110 Mordington Ave
Charles Town, West Virginia 25424
Voice & TDD: 304-725-6473
FAX: 304-728-4814

Web Page Donated by David J. Hark, HARK/INTERNET-HELP