"Assistive Technology Products can enable people with disabilities to accomplish daily living tasks, assist them in communication, education, work or recreation activities, in essence, help them achieve greater independence and enhance their quality of life." (RehabTool LLC, 2004).
Above I have highlighted the key points in assistive technology. It is to enable individuals to accomplish and assist them with aspects of living to help achieve a greater independence and provide a better quality of life.
There are many variables for assitive technology and these include
Assistive/Rehabilitation or Educational Technologies - those which assist the individual in their daily activities vs technology that is used as a tool for rehabilitation or remediation.
Low to high technology - easy to make and easy to obtain vs difficult to make and difficult to obtain.
Hard and soft technologies - Readily available contents that can be purchased and assembled into assistive technologies vs human areas of decision making, strategies, training, concept formation etc.
Appliances versus tools - providing benefits to the individuals skill basis vs require skills for use.
Minimal to maximal technology - augment rather than replace function vs significant abilities needed to use technology.
General versus specific technologies - used in many different applications vs used in specific applications.
Commercial to custom technologies - Standard for general population vs Special for disabled population.
Data from: Odor (1984), Rizer, Ourand, Rein (1990), Smith (1991), Vanderheiden (1987).
But what does this all mean?
It means that there are SO many types of assistive technology out there, some that you would never believe and some that can be made by you, me or your neighbour just by implementing an idea.
Here is a video shown on Youtube about assistive technology:
It explains what assistive technology is and where it is used. Have a squizz!
Focuses on a piece of assistive equipment introduced in class. There was a whole range of equipment shown by Star Mobility and Disability Centre Hamilton. A lot of them were for assistive devices within the class room, ranging from key boards to mouses to timers and voice recording prompters. I have chosen to focus on something that wasn't shown in class. I think it is an amazing piece of equipment that can be adapted depending on the setting. I have chosen to focus on the Dragon NaturallySpeaking within a spinal cord injury setting.
Odor (1984), Rizer, Ourand, Rein (1990), Smith (1991), Vanderheiden (1987) as cited in Hussey & Cook. (1995). Assistive Technologies: Principles and practice. Missouri: Mosby Year Book.RehabTool LLC. (2004). What's assistive technology? Retrieved from: http://www.rehabtool.com/at.html