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Purpose:The purpose of the Technology Loan Program is to provide loan equipment to students with visual impairments, which will enable them to realize their educational potential. The Technology Loan Program was started with funding from a private foundation (Hobletzelle) grant and federal funds awarded through the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The program provides transitional equipment that will enable students to receive necessary instruction. The Educational Service Centers and TSBVI will assist children, teachers, and parents with training to ensure that the student is able to benefit from the loan device(s).

Scope: TSBVI has developed a lending library of technological devices available to all Texas students with visual impairments. Technology will be loaned for the benefit of any student in Texas eligible for services as a student with visual impairments. The function of the program is to provide specialized adaptive equipment and software that will adapt the local school district's computer systems for access to the visually impaired or will be used exclusively by the student with visual impairments.

Responsibility: The Outreach Director is responsible for the accurate implementation of this procedure. All equipment loans will be made with the understanding in writing that an agency will assume responsibility for damaged or lost equipment. Equipment upgrades will be funded through the loan program. Summer loans will be limited to students who have a school or DARS assuming responsibility for the equipment.

Procedure:

  1. When application for the equipment is made, a plan for local equipment procurement and loan duration will be defined. The typical loan should last for 6 to 12 months. All loan items must be returned annually (Currently the last day of the school year) for inventory purposes.
  2. TSBVI Outreach department is responsible for procurement, set-up, maintenance, upgrade, and inventory of loan equipment.
  3. TSBVI Outreach department will coordinate all requests for equipment loans, shipment, technical support, on-site services, and training. Information inquiries to the school should be routed to the Outreach department.
  4. All equipment loans will be made only after an individualized technology evaluation is submitted, based on an assessment of the student's abilities, functional vision, and present level of functioning. The evaluation should include an assessment of the student's short-term and long-term technology needs.
  5. A training plan will be required to include initial training and ongoing support for the student, family, and instructional personnel. No training plan will be required in requests for short term loans for a period while student’s original equipment is being repaired. If TSBVI training is requested, please fill out page 4 of the Tech Loan application.
  6. A written agreement will be prepared which outlines the items in detail and the responsibilities of the receiving agency for equipment use, repair, and return. A local agency must sign that they accept responsibility for use of the loaned equipment. View a sample agreement below.
  7. Equipment will be shipped UPS on an "as available" basis. If equipment is unavailable, the requesting agency will be notified and the request will be placed on a waiting list. TSBVI will periodically provide information concerning estimated delivery. If assistance in preparing the technology evaluation, training plan, or procurement plan is required, then the TSBVI Outreach department or regional ESC can be contacted for assistance.
  8. In the event that the equipment is damaged, TSBVI Tech Loan department should be contacted to coordinate repair of the equipment.
  9. A letter outlining the procedure for return of equipment is enclosed with the agreement and sent along with the equipment.
  10. At the conclusion of the loan, the local VI professional is responsible for return of the equipment. The TSBVI Outreach office may be contacted to coordinate the return of equipment.
  11. Please send all return equipment via  UPS and not as "Free Matter for the Blind".

Please contact Outreach Services - Technology Loan Program at (512) 206-9464 for additional information.