Virgin Islands Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities (VITRAID)
VITRAID was established in 1995 under the leadership of Dr. Yegin Habtes, Professor and Executive Director of the program. The vision was to “provide access and acquisition of Assistive Technology Devices to all in the Virgin Island. The VITRAID project understood the concept of “try it before you buy it”. This innovative vision would allow all persons with disabilities, parents/caregivers, and professions the ability, and never before opportunity to learn if a device worked before it was purchased.
What is Assistive Technology?
Assistive Technology (AT) is “any device, adaptive equipment, or service which enables persons with disabilities accomplish a task that would otherwise not be possible. “ In other words, AT are devices that help people with disabilities live a more independent life style.
1. A “ Boardmaker” device helps a child with a disability read better . This is because the device helps the child learn to read and that skill offers the child a greater chance at employment, which helps him be independent.
2. A “Hearing Aid” helps a person with a hearing impairment hear better is a form of because with the assistance of the device a person can live more independently.
3. A “Wheelchair” that helps a person with limited mobility travel is because the assistance helps a person do their own shopping, travel to work and other places. This promotes an independent lifestyle.
- VITRAID provides Assistive Technology demonstrations. We will travel to your location and provide you/your staff with live, hands on demonstration of a variety of devises that assist persons with disabilities.
- VITRAID provides hands on instructions to ensure most value of the devise is realized.
- VITRAID has a variety of devices that address multiple disabilities
Open Ended Loans:
- “Open Ended Loans” are loans provided to offer the consumer/agency access to a device for an extended period of time.
- “Open Ended Loans” typically last for anywhere between six (6) months and twelve (12) months.
- This service is free of charge.
Closed Ended Loans:
- “Closed Ended Loans” are loans provided to offer the consumer/agency access to a device for a shorter period of time.
- “Closed Ended Loans” typically last for one (1) to three (3) months at a time.
- “Closed ended Loans” can be renewed with the same consumer/agency if the device continues to be available after the initial time period is exhausted.
- This service is free of charge.
Loans are Available to the following People
- People with Developmental Disabilities. All teachers of students with Developmental Disabilities.
- Agencies/Organizations that provide services to people with Developmental Disabilities.
- Service Providers for people with Developmental Disabilities.
- Businesses that serve people with Developmental Disabilities.
VITRAID’s primary mission is to provide the consumer/agency access to a device to determine if the device meets a specific need of an individual with a disability. This opportunity gives the person a chance to see if the item/device is appropriate before purchasing.
Request a Service
Below is a sample of the AT inventory which we use for AT demonstrations throughout the Territory. It displays different types of devices/equipment, a description of the item, cost and a picture. This inventory is also part of our AT Exchange Program. If you are an individual with a disability and have AT items that you are not in need of anymore, you can "recycle" them through our AT Exchange Program. Call Dr. Carl Cole at 693-1334 for more information on this topic.
If you have any difficulties navigating the on-line inventory, please contact Kareem Forbes, Assistive Technology Assistant at 693-1185.