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Categories of Assistive Technology
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Categories of Assistive Technology


Categories of Assistive Technology
Aids for Daily Living
self-help aids for use in activities such as eating, bathing, cooking, dressing, toileting , and home maintenance. Example: grab bars and a shower chair for bathing.

Augmentative Communication
electronic and non-electronic devices that provide a means for expressive and receptive communication for persons with limited speech. Example: using voice-output augmentative communication device for a person with limited speech ability to effectively communicate with teachers, classmates , and family members.
Computer Applications
input and out put devices, alternative access aids, modified or alternative switches, special software, and other devices that enable persons with disabilities to use a computer Example: Voice activated system for computer, allows an individual with limited use of hands to write articles without the need for a keyboard.
Environmental Control Systems
primarily electronic systems that enable someone with limited mobility or fine motor skills to control various devices such as appliances , electronic aids and security systems in his/her own room, home or other surroundings. Example: equipping a home with electronic controls for the doors, lights , television and radio to allow greater independent functioning in the home.
Home/Worksite Modifications
structural adaptations, fabrications in the home, worksite or other areas (ramps, lifts, bathroom changes) that remove or reduce physical barriers for an individual with a disability. Example: using stair glide installed in the home to have access to the first and second levels of the home for a person who has difficulty using stairs.
Prosthetics and orthotics
replacements, substitutions or augmentation of missing or malfunctioning body parts with artificial limbs or other orthotic aids (splints, braces, et.) Example: using a leg prosthesis in order to walk.
Seating and Positioning
accommodations to a wheelchair or other seating system to provide greater body stability, trunk /head support and an upright posture, and the reduction pressure on the skin surface (cushions, contour seats, lumbar supports). Example: Equipping a wheelchair with straps to prevent injury to lower body, give greater upper body support and to secure while chair is in motion.
Vision Aids
magnifiers, Braille and speech output devices, large print monitor. Example: adapting the computer at work with a large print monitor for a person with a visual impairment.

Sensory Aids for People who have a hearing impairment
telephone amplifiers, hearing aids, assistive listening devices, text telephone, visual alerting systems. Example: a person who is deaf using a text telephone for business transactions and equipping an entrance with a signal light to indicate to them someone has entered. Amplifing sounds for a person who has a hearing impairment
Wheelchair/Mobility Aids
manual and electric wheelchairs, mobile bases for custom chairs , walkers, three wheel scooters and other utility vehicles used for increasing personal mobility. Example: upgrading from a manual wheelchair to a power wheel chair allowing for greater mobility and increased independence.
Vehicle Modifications
adapting driving aids, hand controls, wheelchairs and other lifts, modified vans and other motor vehicles used for personal transportation. Example: Driving a van with adaptive control and a lift to accommodate a person who uses a wheelchair.

Resource - Pennsylvania's Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT) Access to Funding: A Resource Guide for Obtaining Assistive Technology Devices and Services in Pennsylvania. Institute on Disabilities/UAP Temple University Ritter Hall Annex Room 423, Philadelphia, PA 19122




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Last modified: 06/29/10

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