What is Assistive Technology?

Assistive technology is technology used by individuals with disabilities or age related health conditions to perform tasks that might otherwise be difficult or impossible.  Assistive technologies allow people to communicate, learn, play, navigate their environment, accomplish daily living tasks and achieve independence.

Assistive technology ranges from very low-cost, low-tech devices, such as a pencil grip or adapted ruler, to high-tech, very expensive devices, such as a communication device or powered wheelchair. Assistive technology may be used at home, in the workplace, in the classroom and in the community to allow individuals the opportunity to undertake a variety of tasks.

Here are some examples of both high tech and low tech assistive technology.
Top: A button threader, a personally magnification device, a pencil grip.
Bottom: A switch, communication cards, an iPad.

assistive technology tools

For a video description of Assitive Technology, view this great video from the PACER Simon Technology Center below!



“Technology is a tool that serves a set of education goals, and if we don’t think about what we want the technology for first, we end up with technology-driven solutions that have very little impact in the lives of children and in our educational system.”
-Linda Roberts
Past Director of Educational Technology
U.S. Department of Education

Who is an Assistive Technology Professional?

Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) – A service provider who analyzes the needs of consumers with disabilities, assists in selection of appropriate assistive technology for the consumer’s needs, and provides training in the use of the selected device(s).

Certification for ATPs is provided by Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA).

The ATP certification recognizes demonstrated competence in analyzing the needs of consumers with disabilities, assisting in the selection of appropriate assistive technology for the consumer’s needs, and providing training in the use of the selected device(s).