Veterans

March 28, 2016
 

VA awards grants to develop technology to help veterans, service members modify their specially adapted homes

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced March 28 the award of $784,421 in Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology Grants to eligible individuals, researchers, and organizations to develop new technologies that would enhance veterans and service members’ ability to live in specially adapted homes.

The SAHAT Grant Program was authorized by Congress to design assistive technologies to expand home modification options for veterans who apply for VA’s Specially Adapted Housing benefit. Grants of up to $200,000 have been issued to four selected grantees.

“We’re excited and expect that the technology developed with these grants will augment veteran and service members’ options for living independently in their own homes,” said Curt Coy, Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity. “New technology will serve veterans who currently live in specially adapted houses and open doors for more Veterans looking to modify their homes to fit their needs.”

The VA issued a Notice of Funding Availability in January for the SAHAT Grant program via the Federal Register and www.Grants.gov. In order to foster competition and best serve the needs of veterans and service members, VA did not limit the type of entity or individual eligible to apply. There was no restriction on the number of grants that could have been awarded within the $1 million funding limit.

VA administers the SAH benefit, which helps veterans and service members with service-connected disabilities purchase or modify a home. Typical adaptations include ramps, wider halls and doors and wheelchair accessible bathrooms. New technology from the SAHAT Grant Program will be added to the list of home modification options as they become available. 

SAHAT Grants have been awarded to the following:

* Auburn University, Auburn, Ala. — Touch-Voice-Eye Controlled Assistive Technology for veterans and service members with Significant Disabilities; $199,630
* Philips Research of North America, Cambridge, Mass. —
Personalized Location-aware Assisted Technology for Improving Quality of Life and Independence in Individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment; $199,557
* Simply Home, LLC., Asheville, N.C. — Assistive Technology Link Platform Interfacing the Simply Home, LLC Firefly Platform and the Amazon Echo Device; $200,000
* St. Ambrose University. Davenport, Iowa — Virtual Demonstration and Training Site for Home Independence; $185, 234




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