AT information

Providing assistive technology information and to provide a way for you to find assistive technology you need.

What is assistive technology (AT)?

AT is any device or service that improves the ability of people to maintain or improve their independence in performing daily living activities. Assistive technology can be as simple as a book stand or as sophisticated as a communication device that has computer and cell phone functionality. Finding the correct assistive technology may mean buying an item off-the-shelf, custom ordering a fabricated device or simply making your own.

What types of AT are available?

AT is available for many areas of life, cross-disability.

Categories: Mobility/seating and positioning, aids of daily living, communication, computers and computer applications, ergonomics, electronic aids, vision, hearing, prosthetics and orthotics, home/building modifications, recreation and leisure, beds/bed modifications, seating and positioning, education/employment, transportation and driving.                (back to top)

How can I determine what, if any, AT may benefit me?

Assistive Technology Assessment (CETT Framework)

Consumer - Who needs equipment, what type?
Equipment - where do they need equipment (home, school, community)?
Task - what tasks do they need equipment to help with?
Tool - what specific equipment based on answers to above questions.

photo of iPad

Who pays for AT?

Medical Assistance (MA)
Must be medically necessary medical equipment

Medical Waiver Programs
Several requirements need to be met

School Districts
AT Assessment completed and AT written into IEP

Division of Rehabilitation Services
Must fit in plan and be related to vocational goal

Private Insurance
Varies. Prior authorization required.

STAR Program

Grant Programs
Varies. See STAR Program or CILNM.

Lending Library or Trial Demonstration

Purchased by Consumer
New - Store or specialized company website/catalog.
Used - Pacer SUPER Program (Still Useful Products and Equipment Referral).
Contact CILNM for assistance in purchasing options.                (back to top)

What is Universal Design (UD)

"The design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design." Ron Mace

Examples of UD: curb cuts, auto door openers, motion detectors for lights/sink/etc., closed captioning, lever handles, smooth/ramp entrances, large print.

Benefits of UD: responsibility of design, serves many, mass production for general population.                (back to top)

What is "low-tech" and "high-tech" AT?

Low-tech: Not requiring complex technolgy, low in cost, universal design, available to general public.

Pencil Grip
Memory Aids
Foam Tubing
Flash Cards
Rubber Gripper

High-tech: Specialized, higher cost, may require training to use.

Personal Data Assistant (PDA)
Computer Access Software
Communication Devices
Environmental Controls                (back to top)