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We create opportunities for independence for people with disabilities through research, education, and consultation.

Effective Communication, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Assistive Technology (AT) Act of 2004

Presented by Wendy Wilkinson & Andy Winnegar, Southwest ADA Center

View the Training

Please be aware that the audio of the training will begin before you see the first slide advance at approximately one minute into the presentation.

About the Training

The Improving Access to Assistive Technology for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 2004 (AT Act) calls for provision of assistive technology to people with disabilities to enjoy full participation in education, employment and community living.  Title II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) cover public facilities and accommodations and prohibit discrimination based on disability. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Rehab Act) covers all programs receiving federal financial assistance.

This presentation will provide participants with an understanding of “effective communication” for public and private entities covered by these laws. We will also review how the AT Act, AT Projects can support provision of effective communication.  The A.T. Act defines what services must be provided. Two of these services (device loans and technical assistance) can help covered entities provide effective communication.

Participants will:

  1. Have a basic understanding of effective communication.
  2. Understand the importance of communication in medical care.
  3. Know examples of auxiliary aids and services under the ADA.
  4. Gain insights into how a state AT Act project may support public and private entities obligation to provide effective communication.
  5. Begin development of an action plan for providing communication support.

Presentation Handouts

About the Presenter

Wendy Wilkinson

Wendy Wilkinson is an attorney and Project Director of the DBTAC Southwest ADA Center. The Center is a project of the ILRU (Independent Living Research Utilization) program, which is based at TIRR Memorial Hermann. She also served as Principal Investigator on Legal Protections for People with Disabilities, a project of the Research and Training Center on Managed Care and Disability. Wendy has published a number of articles on the Americans with Disabilities Act and other disability related issues. In 1995 she was appointed Clinical Assistant Professor of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Baylor College of Medicine. Wendy received an Obermann Fellowship in 1997 to study glass ceiling issues in the employment of people with disabilities. In 2008 she was appointed to the TIRR Research Council.

Andy Winnegar

Andy Winnegar has over 36 years of experience in developing programs and resources promoting independence for persons with disabilities in the areas of vocational rehabilitation, assistive technology, independent living and employment for people living with a spinal cord injury, mobility impairment, and paralysis. He currently serves as the Chair of the New Mexico State Purchasing Council from Persons with disabilities. The Council provides a preference for small business persons with disabilities seeking public contracts. He also served as principal investigator for the New Mexico Technology Assistance project and Deputy Director for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation from 1991-2010. He works extensively with American Indian programs, centers for independent living, public schools and community rehabilitation programs. Andy was recently honored as the 2007 RESNA (Rehabilitation Engineer and Assistive Technology Society of North America) Conference, Don Ross Invited Lecturer – Early Deployment of Reasonable Accommodations for State Government Workers.


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This webinar is supported through the DBTAC Southwest ADA Center, a program of ILRU.  The Southwest ADA Center ( is one of ten Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers (DBTACs) funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) to provide training, technical assistance and materials dissemination on the Americans with Disabilities Act and other disability-related laws. NIDRR is part of the U.S. Department of Education.  

Call 1-800-949-4232 v/tty to reach the ADA Center that serves your area. The opinions and views expressed are those of the presenters and no endorsement by the funding agency should be inferred.

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The complete ILRU website was developed with support from grants from the Department of Education. However, its contents and the opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and no endorsement by the Department should be inferred. ILRU is a program of TIRR Memorial Hermann, a nationally recognized medical rehabilitation facility for persons with disabilities.

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Last Modified: July 20, 2011