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

Some examples of assistive technologies are:

  • Mobility aids, such as wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, canes, crutches1, prosthetic devices, and orthotic devices.2
  • Hearing aids to help people hear or hear more clearly.3
  • Cognitive aids, including computer or electrical assistive devices, to help people with memory, attention, or other challenges in their thinking skills.3
  • Computer software and hardware, such as voice recognition programs, screen readers, and screen enlargement applications, to help people with mobility and sensory impairments use computers and mobile devices.4,5
  • Tools such as automatic page turners, book holders, and adapted pencil grips to help learners with disabilities participate in educational activities4,6,7
  • Closed captioning to allow people with hearing problems to watch movies, television programs, and other digital media.4
  • Physical modifications in the built environment, including ramps, grab bars, and wider doorways to enable access to buildings, businesses, and workplaces.8,9
  • Lightweight, high-performance mobility devices that enable persons with disabilities to play sports and be physically active.4
  • Adaptive switches and utensils to allow those with limited motor skills to eat, play games, and accomplish other activities.4
  • Devices and features of devices to help perform tasks such as cooking, dressing, and grooming; specialized handles and grips, devices that extend reach, and lights on telephones and doorbells are a few examples.4

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


    1. Medline Plus. (2016.) Mobility aids. Retrieved October 8, 2018, from https://medlineplus.gov/mobilityaids.html
    2. International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics. Prosthetics and orthotics services. Retrieved October 8, 2018, from https://www.ispoint.org/page/POservices 
    3. Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program. (n.d.). Accommodations solutions: Cognitive. Retrieved October 8, 2018, from http://www.cap.mil/WSM/Solutions/ProductDisability.aspx?enc=lW621fBb2hawoKKX5Kj3oJXp1fr5ZDJqYtID2qY3TBY 
    4. Center on Technology and Disability. (2018). Assistive technology 101. Retrieved September 28, 2018, from https://www.ctdinstitute.org/sites/default/files/file_attachments/CTD-AT101-V4.pdf (PDF 1.75 MB)
    5. American Foundation for the Blind. (n.d.). Screen readers and text-to-speech synthesizers. Retrieved October 8, 2018, from http://www.afb.org/info/for-employers/accommodations-for-workers-with-vision-loss/screen-readers-and-text-to-speech-synthesizers/345 
    6. Georgia Project for Assistive Technology. (2014). Page turners. Retrieved October 15, 2018, from http://www.gpat.org/Georgia-Project-for-Assistive-Technology/Pages/Page-Turners.aspx 
    7. Georgia Project for Assistive Technology. (2014). Positioning aids. Retrieved October 15, 2018, from http://www.gpat.org/Georgia-Project-for-Assistive-Technology/Pages/Positioning-Aids.aspx 
    8. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2012). Accelerating adoption of assistive technology to reduce physical strain among family caregivers of the chronically disabled elderly living at home. Appendix B. Family caregiver guide to assistive technologies and home modifications. Retrieved October 18, 2018, from https://aspe.hhs.gov/report/accelerating-adoption-assistive-technology-reduce-physical-strain-among-family-caregivers-chronically-disabled-elderly-living-home/appendix-b-family-caregiver-guide-assistive-technologies-and
    9. Missouri Assistive Technology. (n.d.). Kids assistive technology (KAT). Retrieved October 18, 2018, from https://at.mo.gov/kids-assistive-technology/

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