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About WATR|Wyoming Institute for Disabilities

Contact Us

Wyoming Assistive Technology Resources (WATR)
Dept 4298, 1000 E University Ave.
Health Sciences Bldg. Room 151
Intersection of 9th and Clark, across from Turtle Rock Coffee & Cafe
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-6187
Toll Free: 1-888-989-9463
Email: watr@uwyo.edu
WATR Logo2.jpg

What is WATR?

WATR is Wyoming's Assistive Technology Act program and a resource for all assistive technology (AT) needs in Wyoming. AT may be a device or solution that enhances an individual's ability to live, play, or work independently. AT can take the form of a device, tool, or adaptation that supports a person when participating in everyday activities and settings. WATR activities include:

  • Device Demonstrations
  • Device Loan Center
  • Device Reutilization
  • Alternative Financing
  • AT Assessments and Evaluations
  • AAC Assessments and Evaluations
  • Training and Technical Assistance
  • Public Awareness Activities
  • Coordination and Collaboration

WATR, along with Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND), offers statewide technology-related assistance through coordination and support of multiple activities. Our staff is dedicated to providing current and high quality information about assistive technology devices and services to increase knowledge and to facilitate participation in life activities. WATR is a member of ATAP, a membership organization. WATR receives technical assistance through the Catalyst Project of RESNA.

What is WATR's mission?

Wyoming Assistive Technology Resources' (WATR) mission is to provide evidence based information about assistive technology devices and services to maximize individuals' participation in life activities.

What is assistive technology?

Assistive Technology (AT) may be a device or solution that enhances an individual's ability to live, play, or work independently. AT can take the form of a device, tool, or adaptation that supports a person when participating in everyday activities and settings.

What are some examples of assistive technology?

Assistive Technology may include simple, homemade adaptations such as duct tape, dual lockTM, velcro®, dycem® or can be as complex as high-tech augmentative or alternative communication systems. AT may also include low-tech aids for daily living like modified sports and recreation equipment, special keyboards, vision aids, assistive listening devices, adapted or enhanced telephones, home modifications, wheelchairs, scooters, and many other products.

What is augmentative alternative communication?

Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) includes any device, system, or method that improves an individual’s ability to communicate effectively. 

Who uses AAC?

Many different types of individuals can benefit from AAC including:  individuals who have a few words or sounds, individuals who have difficulties coordinating the movements necessary to produce sounds, individuals who have had a stroke and struggle with coming up with the right word, and those who have difficulties with their vocal cords causing limited or no voice.  For some speech can be very frustrating as they know what they want to say but are unable to make the right movements for speech to happen.  Even if the individual is already receiving speech and/or language therapy, they can still benefit from AAC!

What are some examples of AAC?

AAC devices range from no-tech to low-tech to high-tech.  Examples of no-tech devices may include choice boards, activity boards, sign language, and Picture Communication Exchange®(PECS).  Low-tech devices are those of which require a power source and are easy to program.  Examples of low-tech devices include Big Mac® switches that provide voice-output once activated, and Go-Talk,® Tech Talk,® and SuperTalker® devices which combine picture symbols with programmable voice output.  High-tech devices require extensive training to program and maintain the device.  Examples of companies that manufacture high-tech communication devices include:  Prentke Romich, DynaVox, and Saltillo amongst several others.   Individuals often use a combination of no-tech, low-tech, and high-tech devices in order to meet needs and social expectations.  By using a multimodal approach to communication, the message becomes clearer, and individuals often experience a decrease in frustration because they have an alternative way to communicate without spoken words.

How can WATR help me?

Our staff is here to serve you with a broad range of services. We believe that persons with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as other citizens. If you are seeking information, inquiring about an AT and/or AAC Assessment, need help locating funding sources, or want to ask about short-term device loans, device demonstrations, technical assistance, or how to contact AT vendors, visit us at the WATR Lab. Our lab is located on the first floor of the University of Wyoming Health Sciences building. You may also call 1-888-989-9463 (toll free) or 1-800-908-7011 (TTY).

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