Categories of Assistive Technology
Aids for Daily Living
self-help aids for use in activities such as eating, bathing, cooking, dressing, toileting, and home maintenance. Example: grab bars and a shower chair for bathing.
What to Know About ADLs and IADLS
Essential Tasks Needed to Sustain Survival and Well-Being – by Verywell Health
electronic and non-electronic devices that provide a means for expressive and receptive communication for persons with limited speech. Example: using voice-output augmentative communication device for a person with limited speech ability to effectively communicate with teachers, classmates, and family members.
What is AAC or Augmentative Alternative Communication? – by Therapy Works
input and output devices, alternative access aids, modified or alternative switches, special software, and other devices that enable persons with disabilities to use a computer Example: Voice-activated system for computer, allows an individual with limited use of hands to write articles without the need for a keyboard.
Environmental Control Systems
primarily electronic systems that enable someone with limited mobility or fine motor skills to control various devices such as appliances, electronic aids, and security systems in his/her own room, home, or other surroundings. Example: equipping a home with electronic controls for the doors, lights, television, and radio to allow greater independent functioning in the home.
structural adaptations, fabrications in the home, worksite, or other areas (ramps, lifts, bathroom changes) that remove or reduce physical barriers for an individual with a disability. Example: using stair glide installed in the home to have access to the first and second levels of the home for a person who has difficulty using stairs.
Prosthetics and orthotics
replacements, substitutions, or augmentation of missing or malfunctioning body parts with artificial limbs or other orthotic aids (splints, braces, et.) Example: using a leg prosthesis in order to walk.
Seating and Positioning
accommodations to a wheelchair or other seating system to provide greater body stability, trunk /head support, and an upright posture, and the reduction of pressure on the skin surface (cushions, contour seats, lumbar supports). Example: Equipping a wheelchair with straps to prevent injury to the lower body, give greater upper body support, and secure while the chair is in motion.
magnifiers, Braille and speech output devices, large print monitor. Example: adapting the computer at work with a large print monitor for a person with a visual impairment.
Sensory Aids for People who have a hearing impairment
telephone amplifiers, hearing aids, assistive listening devices, text telephone, visual alerting systems. Example: a person who is deaf using a text telephone for business transactions and equipping an entrance with a signal light to indicate to them someone has entered. Amplifying sounds for a person who has a hearing impairment
manual and electric wheelchairs, mobile bases for custom chairs, walkers, three-wheel scooters, and other utility vehicles used for increasing personal mobility. Example: upgrading from a manual wheelchair to a power wheelchair allowing for greater mobility and increased independence.
adapting driving aids, hand controls, wheelchairs and other lifts, modified vans, and other motor vehicles used for personal transportation. Example: Driving a van with adaptive control and a lift to accommodate a person who uses a wheelchair.
(Resource – Pennsylvania’s Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT) Access to Funding: A Resource Guide for Obtaining Assistive Technology Devices and Services in Pennsylvania. )
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