Assistive Technology (AT)

AT influences some devices, software or equipment which are designed or built to support any people who face challenges in their daily life. The term is actually an assembly of science, knowledge, experience, and procedure of design as well as delivery to the people with special needs of assistance. The product as an outcome of AT, is made to be the key to the well being of an individual by enhancing and maintaining their independent functionality and ability.

What do you need to know?

  • Assistive Technology meaning

  • Assistive Technology definition

  • Assistive Technology for Disabilities

  • Assistive Technology in education

  • Assistive Technology in special education

  • Assistive Technology example

  • Assistive Technology devices

  • Assistive Technology Course in India

  • Assistive Technology software

  • Assistive Technology products

  • Assistive Technology articles

  • Assistive Technology research

Assistive Technology Definition

Any devices, instruments, equipment, system products, software or any piece of an item which can enhance and maintain the functionality and independence of people with challenges in their daily activities, can be termed as the contribution of Assistive Technology. It advocates all the information covering the design, processing, and delivery of these devices to the individual as well as the experiences to deal with cases under a single umbrella term " Assistive Technology".

Assistive Technology for Disabilities

Persons with disabilities are facing a lot of challenges in their daily activities. They have huge limitations to maintain their independence. All these lead to the loss of their morale and motivation for a healthy life. Here, AT plays the most important role. With logical implementation and guidance of experiences AT can provide support to all aspects of disabilities. It can serve people with locomotor disabilities, hearing or visual impairments, a child with disabilities, autism, cerebral palsy, geriatric, reading or writing disabilities or anything termed as disabilities. Assistive Technology influences the way of thinking in research and services for persons with disabilities in such a way that any kind of improvisations or inventions is being comfortable and possible enough nowadays. As surveyed and communicated by WHO, globally more than 1 Billion people are seeking at least one assistive device to perform their daily challenges. This number is increasing daily leading to be a threat. It has been estimated that by 2030 this number may reach up to 2 Billion globally counting people who may need at least one assistive device considering the global aging population and rise in non- communicable diseases. A huge population of older people has been estimated who may need 2 or more assistive devices for their independent activities.

Assistive Technology Examples | Products | Software | Assistive Devices

  • Hardware: Prosthetics, Orthotics, mounting systems, positioning devices, and alignment support, etc.

  • Software: Computer Programs, Screen Readers, Digital Communication Boards, Interactive Devices, etc.

  • Low Tech: Communication board made of fuzzy felt or cardboard

  • High Tech: Microprocessor-based system support, AI-Based Systems, dedicated computers for AT

  • Specialized learning aids including systematic learning materials by expert

  • Assistive devices like wheelchairs, power lifts, braces, pencil or pen holders, eye gaze, pill organizers and memory aids or any electronics gadget serving the functionality of people who face challenges to deal.

Assistive Technology for education | Special Education

People with disabilities are facing challenges to deal with realities in their daily life. In education, students with challenges are being prevented to go to school, work or any community. Some are having a problem with communication limitations or reading/hearing disabilities. Assistive devices are playing a major important role here. This can enable persons with disabilities to cope with those challenges. AT helps students with disabilities to perform their educational activities, assignments or any specific academic task given to them. It can be both, product and services. There are many assistive devices designed for supporting students with physical, hearing, reading, visual or learning disabilities to perform their functions inside the classroom. AT devices are capable of eliminating the problems in their learning process by strengthening their learning ability and decreasing their weaknesses while in the classroom. Some of the applications of assistive technology have been discussed below: Phonetic Spelling Software This software is designed for students who have reading and writing disabilities. It converts the typing into word and helps those students to understand what they intended to write. Audiobooks are the alternative method to deal with reading disabilities. Talking Calculators This device has been designed for students who are having a problem like dyscalculia. This device helps them to read numbers, perform any calculations and definitely to read numbers easily. In parallel to this, students may use text-to-voice devices which can convert written words into an audible track. This can enhance their reading and spelling skills as well. Electronic Worksheets This device can help students with disabilities like dyslexia for their assignments and other academic tasks. This has the functions to line up words, numbers, formulae or any equation as per the student's need. Technology including text to speech or speech synthesizer is being used in this worksheet. Visual Content of Social skills and behavior This is so helpful to the students who are having learning disabilities or autism. Video content featuring the way of social skills and behavior samples can guide them appropriately in this manner. Recording Devices with Speed Variations In general, people are different from each other in their learning speed and efficiency. Students who are having learning disabilities can record the lecture or class first by this device and they can play it at a slower speed as per their own convenient learning speed. This has been found as a very useful tool to deal with learning disabilities.

Assistive Technology Course in India

Centre for Assistive Technology and Innovation(CATI) has been developed by the National Institute of Speech & Hearing to build a resource center meeting the requirements of Persons with Disabilities and relevant research to feed the need accordingly. They are planning to make a combined center where patients and students can get in touch to open up the possibilities in the field of Assistive Technology. As they say, "Such a full-fledged program is currently under development including the creation of necessary systems and processes for operating various elements, evaluation of a wide range of AT solutions and exploring options for collaboration in various areas. An AT lending library is envisaged to be set up as well as a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) lab to generate simple, cost-effective, and customized AT solutions for the clients. The center actively explores different funding schemes to provide financial assistance for users and catalyzes the creation of an industry base for AT products so that affordable solutions are made available to them."

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