DRS Rehabilitation Technology Resource Center (RTRC)
The RTRC of the DARS Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS) keeps track of the latest innovations in equipment and engineering services designed to help people with disabilities.
The latest technology enables people with disabilities to perform jobs once thought of as "off limits" to them. New products do not always reach the people who need them most. Through the RTRC, we can assist in finding equipment, explaining how it is used and how to get it. We work in all areas of disabilities including people with low vision.
Having the right equipment can change a person’s life. It can make the difference between living in an assisted care facility and living and working independently.
Services Offered by the RTRC
Installation of wheelchair lifts, hand controls, reduced effort steering, and wide range of other adaptive vehicle equipment empowers our consumers to travel independently to achieve work and personal goals. Our staff reviews vehicle modification prescriptions and plans, and can provide the latest information about vehicle adaptations. We work in partnership with Texas Transportation Institute to assure that the modifications we purchase are safe and appropriate to meet our consumers' needs. For information about our services, please contact the Coordinator for Vehicle Modifications at (512) 424-4155 or the Program Specialist for Rehabilitation Technology at (512) 424-4111.
NOTICE: Please consult with your counselor before purchasing any items on these lists.
Information and referral
Providing information and referring people to the right resources is a major service of the RTRC. The staff researches the latest products that are commercially available, giving people choices that can assist them in achieving their goals. This service is for DRS consumers, and, on a time-available basis, for the general public.
RTRC can provide counselors with information about jobsite and home modifications, as well as computer assessments. The RTRC does not provide assistive technology assessments as this service is made available through qualified professionals such as physical therapist, occupational therapist, or rehabilitation engineers. All assessments for rehabilitation technology are conducted in the individual's customary environment or the environment where the technology will be used, such as the home or worksite. The assessment provides pertinent background information about the individual environment or site that the consumer uses (or will use) the technology. This assessment includes a detailed recommendation of the specifications for a device, system, or service; justification for the purchase (including advantages over other options); maintenance cost, cost/benefits, and how the equipment addresses the individual's functional limitations and vocational goals. If a brand or a model is specified, generic equivalents should also be allowed.
Demonstration and loan of equipment
The RTRC is located in the DRS Central Office in Austin and has a wide array of assistive equipment including wheelchairs and aids for communication, daily living, deaf and hard of hearing. The RTRC also addresses ergonomic issues. All of the RTRC’s inventory is available for demonstration, and the majority of items are available to loan to consumers for a period of three weeks. Equipment loans enable our consumers to try out devices ensuring that they meet their needs prior to purchase. Equipment is loaned to rehabilitation professionals and to DRS consumers through their counselors. Other individuals or groups may request demonstrations at the RTRC by calling (512) 424-4138 or (512) 424-4111 to schedule an appointment.
The Center For Disability Studies, University of Texas, Austin (http://tatp.edb.utexas.edu/)