What is assistive technology?
Assistive technology (AT) includes a wide range of technology products that are used to support people with disabilities as they work, learn, play and live in their communities.
There are many types of AT devices and systems. A few of these technologies are described below.
Wheelchairs & Mobility Aids
Wheelchairs and mobility aids enable an individual to move within the environment.
There are five broad types: manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs, walkers, canes/crutches and scooters.
Seating and Positioning
Seating and positioning technology refers to changes in a wheelchair or other seating system to provide
- greater body stability,
- trunk-head support,
- an upright posture &
- reduction of pressure on skin surface (e.g. cushions, contour seats, lumbar supports).
AT for Replacing or Augmenting Limb Function
Prosthetics and orthotics are used to replace, substitute or augment missing or malfunctioning body parts with artificial limbs or other aids (splints, braces, etc.)
AT for Communication
Electronic & non-electronic devices that provide means for expressive & receptive communication for people with limited or no speech. They can be high tech, computer-based or low-tech paper-based.
AT for Vision
Aids for specific populations including magnifiers, Braille or speech output devices, large-print screens, closed-circuit television for magnifying documents, screen-readers and refreshable Braille.
AT for Hearing
Aids for specific populations including assistive listening devices (infrared, FM loop systems), hearing aids, TTYs, visual & tactile alerting systems, etc.
Aids for Daily Living
Self-help aids for use in activities such as eating, bathing, cooking, dressing, toileting, home maintenance, etc.
Input & output devices (voice, Braille), alternate access aids (headsticks, light pointers), modified or alternate keyboards, switches, special software, etc. that enable people with disabilities to use a computer