WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan is cosponsoring a bipartisan bill, led by Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, to help expand access to affordable assistive technology for seniors and individuals who experience disabilities. Assistive technology includes items such as hearing aids, wheelchair ramps, or devices to help individuals who are non-verbal to communicate.
“Assistive technology improves the quality of life of seniors and individuals who experience disabilities by allowing them to more fully engage with their communities,” said Senator Hassan. “From my own family to the Granite Staters I talk to every day, I know firsthand what a difference this type of technology can make. Yet too often, families can’t afford these life-changing devices. I’m glad to be working across the aisle to make sure that more people can gain access to assistive technology.”
The 21st Century Assistive Technology Act would update the Assistive Technology Act by clarifying that the program serves all people with disabilities, including veterans and older adults who developed disabilities later in life. The Assistive Technology Act would also increase the funding authorized for programs that serve rural areas. Assistive technology refers to any piece of equipment, product, or service that helps someone with a disability or functional limitation accomplish his or her daily needs, such as wheelchair ramps, hearing aids, screen readers, and even smart phones.
Senator Hassan has been a leader in Congress in fighting to ensure that individuals who experience disabilities receive the support that they need to be fully included in our society. President Trump has signed into law legislation that Senator Hassan introduced to make certain types of hearing aids available over the counter, as well as Senator Hassan’s bipartisan legislation with Republican Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado to expand access to government services and information by requiring that all new federal websites are mobile-friendly. Senator Hassan has also cosponsored legislation to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as well as introduced bipartisan legislation to help ease the burden of transitioning to college for students with disabilities.