Characteristics Of Consumer-responsive
Tech Act Projects

By Karen Franklin

This article is reprinted from the A.T. Quarterly, Volume 4, Number 2 (1993)

On March 24-26, 1993, the state project directors weathered the last winter storm of the season and met in Boston, Massachusetts for the 4th Annual Leadership Training Institute. The institute is intended to provide management and leadership training to state project directors. It is designed to assist the directors in developing dynamic administrative and creative leadership skills to meet the challenge of creating statewide consumer-responsive systems of assistive technology services. As in the past, the agenda was developed around issues that are central to the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 (P.L. 100-407), such as consumer-responsiveness, systems change, interagency coordination, plus skill-building activities including time management, board development, negotiating, and facilitation of meetings. This year Michael Morris, Consultant to the RESNA Technical Assistance Project, provided the group with a federal legislative update. The state directors rallied together to beat the odds by correctly answering all the questions on his quiz on who's who and what's what under the Clinton Administration.

The Leadership Training Institute also provides time for state project directors to come together and share successful strategies for developing a statewide system, as well as intellectualizing some of the abstract ideas in the "Tech Act." One such discussion at this year's meeting lead to the development of a list of characteristics of what it means to have a statewide system that is truly consumer-responsive. Denise Figueroa, Director, The Troy Independent Living Center, and President of the National Independent Living Center Council, talked to the group about the history of the independent living movement and how many of its principles can be applied to the development of consumer-responsive assistive technology services. During her session the group broke down into small groups and discussed what they are doing in their states to ensure that their projects are consumer-responsive. From this discussion, the following list of characteristics was developed.

A consumer-responsive project includes these features:

A number of state directors report that it has been helpful to use this list to generate a discussion with their advisory boards and staff. Please let the RESNA Technical Assistance Project Office know of other ways you may have used this list or if you have any additions to this list.


The A.T. Quarterly was a newsletter developed by the RESNA TA Project under a contract with the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), U.S. Department of Education (ED). The content, however, does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of NIDRR/ED and no official endorsement of the material should be inferred.


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