brs: Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology (also known as AT or adaptive equipment) is defined as any item or piece of equipment that is used to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities in all aspects of life, including at school, at work, at home and in the community (AT Act of 1998, as amended). 

Assistive Technology (AT) ranges on a continuum from low tech to high tech devices or equipment.

  • Low tech AT are devices or equipment that donít require much training, may be less expensive and do not have complex or mechanical features. For example, handheld magnifiers, large print text, using paper and pen to communicate, canes or walkers, using color coding, automatic lights, specialized pen or pencil grips and much more.
  • AT devices or equipment that range in the middle of the continuum may have some complex features, may be electronic or battery operated, may require some training to learn how to use and are more expensive than the low-tech devices. Some examples include talking spell checkers, manual wheelchairs, electronic organizers, Closed Caption Televisions, amplifiers, text pagers, larger computer monitors, books on tape, remote controls for your environment, alternate mouse or keyboard for the computer and much more.
  • High tech AT refers to the most complex devices or equipment that have digital or electronic components, may be computerized, will likely require training and effort to learn how to use and cost the most. Examples of high tech AT include power wheelchairs or scooters, prosthetic devices, digital hearing aids, computers with specialized software such as voice recognition or magnification software, electronic aids to daily living, voice activated telephones, communication devices with voices, digital books or information on MP3 players, and much more.

Reducing barriers

Assistive Technology can reduce barriers and increase independence for work, school or life, from getting ready in the morning, getting to and from school or work, performing tasks, participating in your environment, and interacting with teachers, friends, coworkers and employers. Assistive Technology can make a difference! 

AT can allow you to perform the essential functions of your job. Often, you already know what type of Assistive Technology device you need to get your job done. If youíve used an AT device successfully in school or college, then that same device may be just what you need in the work place. Sometimes just brainstorming with your employer and supervisor and trying different items available in your work setting might be enough to figure out what will work for you. Other times a formal Assistive Technology evaluation is needed to assess your work setting, job tasks and your abilities to determine what Assistive Technology device you will need. Finally talking with someone who has been through a similar experience as you may help you figure out which AT device to use. 

The Connecticut Tech Act Project

For more information on Assistive Technology or programs that might be helpful to you, contact the Assistive Technology Coordinator for the Connecticut Tech Act Project at or at 1-800-537-2549.  The Connecticut Tech Act Project is a statewide program that helps to increase access to Assistive Technology for individuals with disabilities of all ages. 

Useful Assistive Technology Links:




Content Last Modified on 3/12/2015 11:16:44 AM