What is Assistive Technology and How Can It Help People with Disabilities?

Assistive technology (AT) is a set of devices and services designed to help people with disabilities access computers, information technologies, and other activities. AT can include mobility devices such as walkers and wheelchairs, as well as hardware, software, and peripherals that are adapted to meet the needs of people with disabilities. Many assistive devices are manufactured with artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, including speech-to-text transcription and real-time visual recognition tools. The choice of assistive technology is usually made with a team of professionals and consultants trained to adapt certain technologies to specific needs.

This team may include family doctors, regular and special education teachers, speech-language pathologists, rehabilitation engineers, occupational therapists, and other specialists, including representatives from companies that manufacture assistive technology. Assistive technology includes any product, equipment, or item used to maintain, improve, or increase the functional capacity of people with disabilities. AT can help people who have difficulty speaking, writing, remembering, pointing, seeing, hearing, learning, walking and many other things. The World Health Organization created the Priority Assistance Products List (APL) to improve access to care products.

The first law that regulated the provision of assistive technology devices to children at school was the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Assistive technology devices give people with disabilities the ability to interact with the outside world. ATIA members have an exceptional reservoir of experience and valuable knowledge to meet the unique needs of people who require assistive technology. They develop online webinars that provide continuing education on assistive technology to professionals and the interested public.

For more information about the assistive technology products and services offered by ATIA members, see their websites which are listed in the ATIA member directory.

Violet Martin
Violet Martin

Professional social media guru. Amateur music fan. Coffee lover. Proud twitter scholar. Lifelong zombie aficionado.

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