Vision: Respectfully promoting independence and enhancing lives through technology and partnership.
History of KATC
In the Mid-1990's several agencies in Kern County began collaborating together around the issue of Assistive Technology. In 1999, a grant was obtained from the Community Technology Foundation of California that funded a business plan that called for a new agency to be incorporated.
Kern Assistive Technology Center (KATC) was incorporated in 2003 as a non-profit corporation in the State of California. We applied for and received funding for our first staff in 2004. The grant was provided by the State Council on Developmental Disabilities. The goal of the grant was to provide AT for people with developmental disabilities who wanted to go to work or start or/expand their own business. In addition to funding for the KATC Director and AT Technician the work done through the grant led to the start of the KRC All Star Cafe and the HIRE Committee www.hire-us.net. Before branching out on it's own the Center was largely supported by Kern Regional Center, the Kern High School District, and the Independent Living Center of Kern County.
That was the beginning of what now is a 5 person team at Kern Assistive Technology Center. Since it's inception professional development of community members who serve people with disabilities that use technology has been a priority. The AT Certificate Course actually began in 1999. See our Services Page for more info. Also at our core is the belief that equipment should be tried before it's purchased. The current equipment loan library received it's start from equipment that was owned by the Kern High School District. Other community agencies have contributed to support the Loan Library because they agree having equipment available to try before it's purchased reduces the risk of AT abandonment and is good stewardship of resources.
Also at the core of our values is a commitment to seeing the people we serve make informed choices about the type of Assistive Technology services and equipment they use. We are one of the original 10 Device Loan Lending Libraries in the state of California. There are now 13 of us statewide that share resources for people with disabilities in our state.
The Kern Assistive Technology Center has moved locations a few times in the years since it's inception. It started on a high school campus, moved to Kern Regional Center, then a shared a suite with KRC's tele-medicine services until it landed where it is now, sharing a suite with H.E.A.R.T.S. Connection.Currently the Center is housed at 2600 F Street, Bakersfield, Ca, 93301. We've outgrown the space so we're looking for new property now. See our Support Us Section to learn more about the vision of our new place!
Kern Assistive Technology Center is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Each member serves a three year term. Each member agrees to serve on one committee as well. Standing committees include the Executive, Fundraising, Marketing, and Finance. The Board also creates temporary committees to meet the needs of the organization. Examples include the Human Resources, Budget, and Facility committees. Each committee draws on volunteers from our community. Chairs of committees recruit volunteers to serve. Click here to volunteer.