Rep. Joe Sempolinski, who represents the Southern Tier in Congress, visited AIM on Nov. 9 to learn about our assistive technology program.

Sempolinski is the lead Republican sponsor in the House of Representatives for the bipartisan 21st Century Assistive Technology Act, the federal legislation that funds assistive technology programs in all 50 states.

Sempolinski, who has a daughter with a disability, is working to get the bill passed by the end of the year. It would update and reauthorize the program.

In New York, the program is known as Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities, or TRAID. AIM’s TRAID Program serves a six-county region in the Southern Tier, including the Elmira-Corning area.

Assistive technology refers to any item, piece of equipment or product system used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of people with disabilities. This includes everything from wheelchairs to screen readers.

AIM has hundreds of items available for the community to use, free of charge. This includes items for people of all ages with all types of disabilities, for use in the home, as well as for employment and education. We also provide delivery of equipment, device demonstrations and other assistive technology services.

Sempolinski and his staff met with AIM staff including John Zick, COO of Grant Based Programs; Erin Morseman, Senior Director, Independent Living; and Hannah Harnas, TRAID Coordinator. He toured our TRAID storage facilities and got a demonstration of one of our new acquisitions, a Rifton TRAM, a transfer and mobility device.