What is Assistive Technology?

Assistive technology (AT) is defined as any product, equipment, software program and/or system that enhances learning, working, and daily living for persons with disabilities. The goal of assistive technology is to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of people with disabilities

Assistive technology also benefits employers, teachers, family members, and everyone who interacts with people who use the technology.

AT Categories

Assistive technology is a very broad field and may range from the very simple to the very complex. It may be divided into high, medium and low-tech categories:

  • ‘Low-tech’ refers to unsophisticated and largely non-electronic devices, such as a laptop stand.
  • ‘Medium-tech’ devices are more complicated but are used by those by pupils with some degree of independent functioning. Adaptive computer peripherals, such as alternative mice or keyboards, will usually come within this category.
  • ‘High-tech’ devices include sophisticated communication and computer control systems. At this end of the AT range, considerable specialist training and support will be necessary, and pupils with little independent functioning or communication ability will be the main users.

Summary of Assessment Process

Considering needs, assessing, selecting, implementing, then evaluating.