What is Assistive Technology?
The technology which aids disabled people to perform day to day functions as a normal person is called assistive technology. The advent of this technology has enabled the disabled community to perform activities which were considered to be impossible before. It is also known as adaptive technology. Assistive technology services help them in selecting and locating the rehabilitative devices designed for them. It also gives them instructions on how to use a particular device.
Technology-related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of198 was aimed at making the disabled people productive. The act also made technical training to the disabled possible. At present a number of assistive technology products are available in the market which improves the life of a physically or mentally impaired person. Walking aids such as wheelchairs, walkers and computer peripherals are the most commonly used products. Software which reads the text on the computer screen has been developed for the blind. Text telephone for the deaf and special mouse for those with restricted hand movements is a contribution of this technology. Software designed reading tools are available for those who find the reading process difficult. Hardware includes E-book reader and Bank note reader. Braille displays are a blessing to the blind. Study skills software and Mind mapping software helps the ones suffering from learning disabilities. Seating and standing products which help them to sit and stand comfortably have hit the markets. Robot aided rehabilitation is a recent advancement in technology. Audiometer and radio aids are there for those with impaired hearing. Personal Emergency Response systems make use of electronic sensors. The system also consists of an alarm which gives intimation to the caretaker of a disabled person in cases of emergency such as a building collapse or fire. This system is extremely useful for those with dementia.