What is Assistive Technology?

What is Assistive Technology?

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Core Competencies for Providing Device Demonstrations

Assistive Technology Device

An assistive technology (AT) device is any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the capabilities of individuals with disabilities. 

Examples: wheelchairs, walkers, hearing aids, ramps, safety bars, communication devices, aids for daily living, computer access hardware and software, modified vehicles, adapted toys for children with disabilities, Braille devices, and low vision aids. 

Assistive Technology Service

The term ‘assistive technology service’ means any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. Such term includes:

  • The evaluation of the assistive technology needs of an individual with a disability, including a functional evaluation of the impact of the provision of appropriate assistive technology and appropriate services to the individual in the customary environment of the individual;
  • A service consisting of purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by individuals with disabilities;
  • A service consisting of selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, replacing, or donating assistive technology devices;
  • Coordination and use of necessary therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as therapies, interventions, or services associated with education and rehabilitation plans and programs;
  • Training or technical assistance for an individual with a disability or, where appropriate, the family members, guardians, advocates, or authorized representatives of such an individual;
  • Training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals providing education and rehabilitation services and entities that manufacture or sell assistive technology devices), employers, providers of employment and training services, or other individuals who provide services to, employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of individuals with disabilities;
  • A service consisting of expanding the availability of access to technology, including electronic and information technology, to individuals with disabilities.