Some people may not give much thought to how they go about their daily routines. But for many, something like picking up the morning paper can be made possible or easier thanks to assistive technology (AT). AT is any item used to maintain or improve the independence of people with disabilities and older adults.
Whether on occasion or more frequently, people may need the help of AT, and there are many devices that can help with tasks like household chores, guarding against falls, using a computer, moving independently, and much more.
The span of AT is wide, ranging from high tech (like voice-activated computers) to low tech (like pencil grips). A few more examples include:
- Hearing aids
- Vehicle modifications such as hand controls or wheelchair lifts
- Devices that help with bathing and eating
- Software and devices for those with hearing and visual challenges
- Equipment—such as grab bars—to help with the prevention of falls
- Eye glasses and magnification devices to help with vision
- Communication devices for individuals with speech disabilities
- Wheelchairs, walkers, and other mobility devices
The right AT for you
At first, finding the right AT tools and solutions can feel overwhelming. The network of State Assistive Technology Act Programs is a good place to start. Your state AT Act program can provide information and support to help you identify and acquire AT that meets your needs.
These programs offer:
- Device demonstration and short term loan programs that allow you to try out equipment before purchasing
- Reuse programs that provide gently used devices at substantial savings
- Financing options such as cash loan programs that can help you get the AT devices you need
Want to learn more about how to get and use AT?
The Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs can help you locate your state AT program, as well as provide information on the right type of AT for your needs, financial assistance, and insurance.
Need AT resources?
The AT3 Center can connect you to resources, and provide general information on AT and state assistive technology act programs.
Want the latest in AT news and innovation?
The Center for Assistive Technology Act Data Assistance offers tweets on the latest AT devices and software, as well as information on state AT programs, nationwide activities, and AT program resources.
Want more information on ACL grants to promote development and use of AT?
ACL's Center for Integrated Programs oversees two initiatives funded by the AT Act of 2004: The State Grant for Assistive Technology Program and the Assistive Technology National Activities Program.