What is assistive technology?

Assistive technology (AT) products are designed to provide additional accessibility to individuals who have physical, speech, hearing or cognitive difficulties, impairments and disabilities. The term assistive technology or adaptive technology is a broad term that encompasses numerous assistive, adaptive and rehabilitative devices. The use of AT in the home, education and work environment is protected under Sections 504 and 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is a category of AT products designed to enhance communication for those with impairments in the production of spoken or written language. AAC systems are extremely diverse and are dependent on the capabilities of the user. They may be as basic as a set of pictures on a board that are used to request help, food or other basic needs, or they can be sophisticated speech-generating devices that operate similarly to computers and are capable of “speaking” and storing thousands of phrases and words with a touch of a finger or gaze of an eye. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.