Assistive Technology

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ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY: DEFINITION Assistive Technology consists of devices or services that help people to achieve greater independence and to enhance the quality of their lives. The Assistance Technology Act of 1998, Amended 2004, see summary: (https://www.disability.gov/resource/assistive-technology-act-of-2004-public-law-108-364/) defines an assistive technology device as “…any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.”

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY DEVICES (Also called Assistive Devices): Assistive technology devices can be simple or complex, depending upon the needs of the individual. The following are categories and examples summarized from the National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus website: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/assistivedevices.html

Assistive technology devices can also be used with environmental control systems, home or worksite modifications, and motor vehicle access devices.

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY SERVICES: The Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act provides a legal definition of assistive technology services as “…any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device”. Examples of assistive technology services include:

As a specific example, the New England Assistive Technology Marketplace run by the Connecticut Institute for the Blind, Oak Hill (www.ciboakhill.org/) is an assistive technology and equipment restoration center. The center serves all ages and all disabilities, and can be used by consumers, their families, and the professionals who work with people with disabilities. Also, donated assistive devices are restored and made available through vendors at lower cost than a new item.

TO FIND PROVIDERS IN CONNECTICUT’S COMMUNITY RESOURCES DATABASE:

Search by service name: Assistive Technology Information

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SOURCES: Agency listings in iCarol database; “Assistive Technology Devices” posted on the SpeciaLink website; Connecticut Institute for the Blind/Oak Hill website; Assistive Technology Definitions, ReHabTool.com Website; “Assistive Technology-Related Act of 1998” Summary;  www.ataport.org

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CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: February2017