Assistive Technology is any product that enables a person with a disability to perform any task. The following is the often-cited legal definition. “Assistive technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.” (29 U.S.C. Sec 2202(2)
Assistive technology ranges from the low-tech (e.g., adapted spoons, pencil grips) to the high-tech (e.g., speech synthesizers, screen readers). It is commonly used for communication, mobility, self care, environmental control, computer access and recreation. Related services include evaluation, fabrication, training and funding.
This section of our Web site is intended to help people with disabilities find resources for assistive technology.
Described and Captioned Media Program
FREE-LOAN accessible media library … to benefit students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind …’ and other resources, such as ‘Caption it Yourself’.
Engadget: Gadgets For The Deaf
Description: Articles about gadgets for people who are deaf.
Engadget: Gadgets For The Blind
Description: Articles about gadgets for people who are blind.
Description: ‘… mission is to promote the use of assistive technology an
d assistive technology services to enhance the independence of people with disabilities, enabling equal participation in all of life’s activities…’ info, low-interest loans, AT swap, more
Assistive Technology Exchange
Description: Its goal ‘… is to put AT equipment that is not currently being used into the hands of someone who can benefit from it …’
Recording for People Who Are Blind or Have Dyslexia
Description: ‘Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D), a nonprofit organization, is the nation’s educational library serving people who cannot effectively read standard print because of a visual impairment, learning disability or other physical disability. It provides recorded books at all educational levels in a broad range of subjects. Its mission is to create opportunities for individual success by providing, and promoting the effective use of, accessible educational materials. Its vision is for all people to have equal access to the printed word.’
Massachusetts Easter Seals Assistive Technology Services
Description: Assistive Technology Device Demonstration and Loan Program; Training Centers; Workshops; etc.
Spaulding Assistive Technology Center
Description: ‘… dedicated and experienced clinicians in physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and neuropsychology provide assessments, demonstrations, and trial sessions with different types of assistive technologies …’
Description: Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America. Its ‘… purpose is to improve the potential of people with disabilities to achieve their goals through the use of technology …’
Massachusetts Assistive Technology Loan Program
Description: ‘… is an alternative financing project that gives people with disabilities and elders access to low interest cash loans to purchase assistive devices and services …’