Assistive technology (AT) helps people all around the world with tasks that they find difficult. When people think of AT devices, they may think of a wheelchair or a hearing aid. However, there are tons of different devices that can help people to go about their daily lives with ease. These are some of the most common types of assistive technology you will see.
One of the most common categories of assistive technology is the mobility aid. This can range from an automatic wheelchair to a manual one, a walker, crutches, or any other assistive device that helps a person navigate safely. Mobility devices are used to help with a wide range of conditions, but many people will begin to use them simply as a result of aging.
Some people have trouble with motions that affect objects. This can include trouble with gripping, turning, pressing, and more. For some people, it is much easier to find a method that they can use and apply that to other areas of their life. For example, a person may be able to use a switch, so they may look for technology that replaces buttons with switches.
People who are quadriplegic, or who otherwise cannot use their hands, may find that voice-controlled software is beneficial. Many computers come equipped with voice technology, and there are plenty of devices like the Google Home or Amazon Echo that can assist a person throughout their home.
There are a wide variety of cognitive difficulties that exist, from learning disabilities to mental health conditions. Cognitive aids are often used in the classroom, but can be used throughout life. For example, a person with dyscalculia may use a specialized software on a tablet that displays numbers in a way that is easier for them to differentiate.
Did you know that prescription glasses are considered assistive technology? There are many conditions that can affect a person’s senses, and sensory aids work to enhance those senses so that people can live a safe and productive life. Hearing aids are another common piece of tech in this area. A less-common example would be color-blind glasses, which can help people with color blindness to tell apart various colors.
Assistive technology is all around us. It is essential to remember the importance of AT, as many people would be unable to go about their daily lives without these devices. Although this list covers many of the most common categories of AT, there are tons of subcategories that exist.