Assistive Technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities. AT can range from low-tech options to high-tech to computer software. According to the Assistive Technology Industry Association, AT can consist of many different options to help the consumer including:
Low-tech: communication boards made of cardboard or fuzzy felt.
High-tech: special-purpose computers.
Hardware: prosthetics, mounting systems, and positioning devices.
Computer hardware: special switches, keyboards, and pointing devices.
Computer software: screen readers and communication programs.
Inclusive or specialized learning materials and curriculum aids.
Specialized curricular software.
Electronic devices, wheelchairs, walkers, braces, educational software, power lifts, pencil holders, eye-gaze and head trackers, and much more.
Assistive Technology helps people who have difficulty speaking, typing, writing, remembering, pointing, seeing, hearing, learning, walking, and many other things. Different disabilities require different assistive technologies.
The use of AT can be expensive to implement depending on the technology. However, you may be eligible to secure resources such as schools, government programs, private health insurance, rehabilitation, job training programs, or employers that will assist with the cost of AT equipment. Other resources of funds in states or communities include private foundations, charities, and civic organizations.