Summary: H.R.4278 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 108-364 (10/25/2004)

(This measure has not been amended since it was passed by the Senate on September 30, 2004. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

Assistive Technology Act of 2004 - (Sec. 2) Amends the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 (ATA) to reauthorize and revise ATA programs.

Revises ATA State grant programs to direct the Secretary of Education to make assistive technology (AT) grants to States to maintain comprehensive statewide programs designed to: (1) maximize the ability of individuals with disabilities, and their family members, guardians, advocates, and authorized representatives, to obtain AT; and (2) increase access to AT. (This grants program, which emphasizes addressing the AT needs of individuals with disabilities, revises and renames the current program of continuity grants for States that received funding for a limited period for technology-related assistance through establishing State administrative systems.)

Increases the minimum grant allotment amount for each State AT program.

Requires States to use portions of AT grant funds for: (1) State-level activities, including State financing system activities (which may include loan programs) to increase access to and funding for AT devices and services, as well as for programs for device reutilization, device loan, and device demonstration and information; and (2) State leadership activities (not more than 40 percent of the AT grant), including training and technical assistance (with at least five percent of the leadership portion to be used for transition assistance to individuals with disabilities), public-awareness activities, and coordination and collaboration.

Provides a flexibility option under which a State may opt to use AT grant funds to carry out any two or more of the otherwise required State-level activities. Requires a State, if it exercises such flexibility option with respect to State-level activities, to: (1) carry out each of the required State leadership activities; and (2) use not more than 30 percent of the AT grant funds to carry out State leadership activities.

Caps at ten percent the portion of AT grant funds that may be used for indirect costs.

Prohibits AT grant funds from being used as direct payment for an AT device for an individual with a disability.

Revises the ATA program of grants to States for protection and advocacy related to AT, through systems established under the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act. Includes the American Indian Consortium as a recipient of such program grants. Allows such systems to carry over program income generated from the grant amount for two additional fiscal years. Requires such funds to be used for activities that enhance AT accessibility awareness among individuals with disabilities and help such individuals acquire, use, or maintain AT devices or services.

Revises ATA national activities to direct the Secretary of Education to: (1) provide funds to establish and maintain a National Public Internet Site to provide individuals with disabilities and the general public with technical assistance and information on increased access to AT devices, AT services, and other disability-related resources; and (2) make competitive grants to provide various forms of technical assistance.

Revises ATA national activities. Authorizes the Secretary to award competitive grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements for: (1) a national public-awareness toolkit developed through a training and technical assistance program that expands public-awareness efforts, uses appropriate accessible multimedia materials, and coordinates with State AT programs in informing targeted individuals and entities about the availability of AT devices and services; and (2) AT research and development. Directs the Secretary to award competitive grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements for: (1) a training and technical assistance program to address State-specific information requests concerning AT from entities funded under ATA and public entities not funded under ATA, disseminate certain information to targeted individuals and entities, and provide training and technical assistance to various public and private entities; (2) renovation, updating, and maintenance of the National Public Internet Site under ATA, with certain required features; and (3) data-collection and reporting assistance.

Revises ATA administrative requirements. Directs the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services of the Department of Education, acting through the Rehabilitation Services Administration, to administer this Act.

Extends through FY 2010 the authorization of appropriations under ATA for: (1) State grants for AT and for national activities; and (2) State grants for AT-related protection and advocacy services.