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What are some types of assistive devices & how are they used?

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Some examples of assistive technologies are 1:

  • People with physical disabilities that affect movement can use mobility aids, such as wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, canes, crutches, prosthetic devices, and orthotic devices, to enhance their mobility.
  • Hearing aids can improve hearing ability in persons with hearing problems.
  • Cognitive assistance, including computer or electrical assistive devices, can help people function following brain injury.
  • Computer software and hardware, such as voice recognition programs, screen readers, and screen enlargement applications, help people with mobility and sensory impairments use computer technology.
  • In the classroom and elsewhere, assistive devices, such as automatic page-turners, book holders, and adapted pencil grips, allow learners with disabilities to participate in educational activities.
  • Closed captioning allows people with hearing impairments to enjoy movies and television programs.
  • Barriers in community buildings, businesses, and workplaces can be removed or modified to improve accessibility. Such modifications include ramps, automatic door openers, grab bars, and wider doorways.
  • Lightweight, high-performance wheelchairs have been designed for organized sports, such as basketball, tennis, and racing.
  • Adaptive switches make it possible for a child with limited motor skills to play with toys and games.
  • Many types of devices help people with disabilities perform such tasks as cooking, dressing, and grooming. Kitchen implements are available with large, cushioned grips to help people with weakness or arthritis in their hands. Medication dispensers with alarms can help people remember to take their medicine on time. People who use wheelchairs for mobility can use extendable reaching devices to reach items on shelves.

For more information about types of assistive devices, check out the following resources:


  1. Family Center on Technology and Disability. (2012). Assistive technology 101. Retrieved August 9, 2012, from http://www.fctd.info/factsheet/at101 External Web Site Policy [top]

Last Updated Date: 11/30/2012
Last Reviewed Date: 11/30/2012
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