Monday, July 27, 2015

Get Utah Moving: The Power of a Small Grant

What can $400, a toy car and dedicated professionals accomplish? Just watch this test drive to find out!

Utah toddler, Trinity, was struggling to interact with her environment because of a disability. But with the plans for a Go Baby Go car, the Utah Center for Assistive Technology helped Trinity get moving. 

Go Baby Go is a project developed to get kids with disabilities moving and interacting with their environment. Trained professionals modify toy cars to be accessible for children with limited movement so they can drive the car themselves. This allows them to increase exploration, social and motor skills. 

To help Trinity's family with the purchase of the car and needed parts, the Utah Assistive Technology Foundation provided a small grant. These $400 grants are used by Utahns with disabilities of all ages to purchase technology, like the Go Baby Go car, to help them be more independent and have a higher quality of life.

You can help Utahns like Trinity get moving by donating to the UATF online fundraiser, supported by Paralympian Muffy Davis. Simply visit our Razoo webpage to donate and learn more. Your support does make a difference!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Happy 25th Anniversary ADA! Disability in Utah today

Twenty-five years ago, on July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law, the good changes it has brought about are undeniable. But Utah has some room to improve disability rights.

ADA 25 Utah logo

One of those changes has been shining a light on what it means to live with a disability in the U.S. According to the Census Bureau, about 56.7 million people — 19 percent of the population — had a disability in 2010, according to a broad definition of disability, with more than half of them reporting the disability was severe.

And while changes to access to technology, accessible environments, employment discrimination law, and other things have improved lives of Americans with disabilities, equality is still yet to be achieved. 

Adults age 21 to 64 with disabilities in the U.S. had median monthly earnings of $1,961 compared with $2,724 for those with no disability, according to the 2010 report.

How does the Beehive state stack up? In Utah, 16.5 percent of adults aged 21 to 64 with a disability had a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 30 percent of people without a disability (according to Cornell University’s Disability Statistics 2013).

There is an estimated employment rate in Utah for adults aged 21 to 64 with a disability of 42.2 percent. This is in contrast to 77.5 percent among people without a disability in Utah.

Better access to employment and services, increasing the public's understanding about living with a disability, and continued work with law makers are ways to improve these numbers. Because at the end of the day, these are family, friends, community members and people - not just numbers. 

Finishing what was started 25 years ago is possible. What will you do to help?

UATP director & Access Board Chair attends Whitehouse ADA 25 celebration

Sachin Pavithran (left) with Vice President Joe Biden.
Sachin Pavithran (left) with Vice President Joe Biden.

Pres. Obama Monday during a speech commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the ADA.
Pres. Obama Monday during a speech commemorating
the 25th Anniversary of the ADA.

Sachin Pavithran at the Whitehouse Monday.
Sachin Pavithran at the Whitehouse Monday.

The 'fight isn't over' Pres. Obama said Monday during a commemorative speech for the upcoming 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

UATP director and U.S. Access Board Chair Sachin Pavithran attended the event at the Whitehouse. Read more about the speech on Disability Scoop.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What does the ADA mean to you: Tamara edition

By Tamara Wulle
CReATE Assistant

In 1990, when the Americana with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law, I was just 7 years old. But because my parents had disabilities, I saw firsthand how it impacted people’s lives as I grew up. It brought an excitement to our home as it offered hope for a more accessible community in the (hopefully) not too distant future and protection against discrimination.

Not that it was actually renovated before I moved on from there, but my elementary school was only accessible to wheelchair users through a loading dock. Nobody else’s parents had to enter the school in that way, and I remember conversations about how, “Now, because of the ADA, they’ll probably have to fix that!” 

And such was the situation in numerous other locations, facilities, and activities that regular families (which is what we were) might normally attend or participate in without second thought.
Utah ADA 25 logo

Regarding the protection the ADA brought, though there still is a stigma about this, I will admit that there was a bit of fear prior to 1990 that parents with disabilities were not capable of raising children, and in some cases they were actually forced to give kids up to the foster care system, based solely on the fact they had disabilities - a draconian and punitive perspective I know, but a fact nonetheless. 

In my case, my siblings and I were well cared for and that never really developed, but there was nothing, really, to have protected us from the arbitrary opinion of someone in a position of power if it had come up. Under the ADA, however, that is completely illegal, as it should be if there are no other grounds on which to make a decision. 

Yes, I can say that I was born at just the right time and into the perfect set of circumstances to truly appreciate The Americans with Disabilities Act, not to mention Justin Dart Jr., ADAPT, and the millions of people who advocated for its passage.

What does the ADA mean to you? It is the 25th Anniversary of the ADA, and we want to hear from you! Send stories to

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Utah Autism Give

Benefits available through Utah Autism Give range from $500 to $2,000 per recipient.  Currently, recipients may only qualify for a one-time benefit.  Benefits are currently offered for various treatment costs, or an Apple iPad device with special communication application.  Any/all benefits provided will be paid directly to the professional provider of services.  Apple iPads will be paid for and shipped by Utah Autism Give.

Autism Give logo

To apply for benefits, please print and complete the application below and be sure to include the listed items in your application package. You will not receive a response from UAG unless your application is accepted. Incomplete application packages will not be considered.

UAG Family Benefits Application Form

In addition to the completed and signed application, please include the following:

  • Proof of diagnosis (evaluation from qualified clinician)
  • Previous year’s IRS tax return
  • 2 most recent pay stubs for all employed household members
  • Information on professional service provider(s) you intend to use or are using
  • Statement of the program/services/benefits being sought and how being a recipient will help your child

Please mail entire package to:
Utah Autism Give
PO Box 1165
American Fork, UT 84003


Scan and email it to: