In this photo, Tony is seen walking with Norris, his guide dog, on a sunny winter day.

Discover CATT-NW: A Beacon for Assistive Technology Training

Discover CATT-NW: A Beacon for Assistive Technology Training

Discover CATT-NW: A Beacon for Assistive Technology Training

If you’re reading this, you’re likely aware of the challenges and the need for specialized training and tools in the area of blind and low vision technology. I want to introduce you to a remarkable initiative that is paving the way for groundbreaking work in assistive technology: The Northwest Center for Assistive Technology Training (CATT-NW).

What is CATT-NW?

CATT-NW is a collaboration between the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB), and the Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB). It aims to provide assistive technology devices and training using a ‘train the trainer’ model. This is not just for teachers of blind/low vision children but also for other professionals and parents or caregivers who are supporting a child with vision challenges.

Geographic Scope

This program serves a ten-state and territory region, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa. Talk about a comprehensive network!

Is CATT-NW the Only CATT Program?

No, it isn’t. The original CATT program started at AIDB in 2019, focusing on the southeastern U.S and Puerto Rico. Following that, CATT-SW was launched in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2022, targeting the southwestern U.S. The newest sibling in this family, CATT-NW, launched in 2023.

Services Provided by CATT-NW

  • Free AT from APH: Upon a simple request, CATT-NW can ship assistive technology devices for use in training or improving access to information.
  • Technical Assistance: They offer in-person and remote training on a range of APH devices, including braille notetakers, embossers, video magnifiers, and more.

How to Contact CATT-NW?

If you’re interested, reach out to them through the following:

Same-Day Tech Support

For immediate questions, join their free Slack workspace: CATT-NW Slack.

Product Availability

From Braille Display/Notetakers like Chameleon and Mantis, to extensive support products like Mini-Lite Box & Materials, CATT-NW facilitates access to a wide range of APH products. Check out the APH Shop for the complete list.

Final Thoughts

CATT-NW stands as an exemplar of collaborative efforts to provide high-quality, easily accessible assistive technology solutions. Whether you’re a teacher, parent, or a community partner, this initiative has something to offer that can change lives for the better.


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