On the following pages you will find an array of resources to support individuals with disabilities.
What is Assistive Technology?
The United States government, in the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, makes a distinction between an Assistive Technology Service and an Assistive Technology Device.
An Assistive Technology Service “directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition and/or use of an Assistive Technology Device or Assistive Technology Service.” Services can include:
- Purchasing, leasing or otherwise providing for the acquisition of an AT device or service
- Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing or replacing AT devices
- Coordinating necessary therapies, interventions or services with AT devices
- Offering training or technical assistance for an individual with a disability or, where appropriate, family members, guardians, advocates or authorized representatives of said individual
- Offering training or technical assistance for professionals, employers or other individuals who provide services to, employ or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of individuals with disabilities
An Assistive Technology Device is “any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.” Commonly used categories of Assistive Technology (AT) include:
- Architectural Modifications
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication
- Computer Access
- Daily Living Aids
- Environmental Control
- Hearing and Listening Aids
- Mobility and Transportation
- Orthotics and Prosthetics
- Recreation Aids
- Seating and Positioning
- Vehicle Modifications
- Vision and Reading Aids
- Vocational Supports
- Writing and Typing Aids
Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) provides webinars to professionals for continuing education. Click here to search through the directory of upcoming and archived webinars.
Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) is a professional organization dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of people with disabilities through increasing access to technology solutions.
Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology Services – The QIAT Community is a nationwide grassroots group that includes hundreds of individuals who provide input into the ongoing process of identifying, disseminating, and implementing a set of widely-applicable Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology Services in school settings.
AT Makers is an experiment in solving problems in Assistive Technology using the skills and tools of the Maker community. In short, we’ve seen tools in the Open-Source Hardware and Software community that can be incredibly useful for people with severe physical and cognitive challenges – we’d like to help introduce these communities to each other.