Assistive Technology (AT) may help you to do an otherwise-impossible activity, or, make what you’re already doing safer and easier.
Assistive Technology (AT) refers to the tools we use to make life easier: the many devices, items, technologies, and gadgets that are around to keep people living as independently as possible. AT can come from specific companies, or it can be custom made to fit people’s needs. The stereotype is that assistive technology is difficult to learn and unattainable, but actually AT can be as simple as placing a tactile marker on a washing machine, to help identify where to turn the knob. Canes, iPads, hearing aids, reflective tape, wheelchairs, and even Velcro are examples of assistive technology. AT is “tools for living.”
The purpose of the AT program here at FREED is to let people know about the available options in AT, and to support people in learning how to use AT. Consumers at FREED use technology for all kinds of activities: hearing, seeing, engaging in sports, reading, bathing, talking, driving, or walking. AT is especially important for sustaining employment.
The goal of the AT program at FREED is to empower people with disabilities for full inclusion and participation in work, play, and home-life. With the second busiest Device Lending Library in California, we are connecting people to technology and experiencing the pathways technology can create. Here are a few of the things we do with tech:
- Expand your ability to get around your home or out into the community
- Regain your ability to bathe yourself
- Improve your ability to see the TV, read books, recipes or the phone book
- Increase your ability to hear conversations or your favorite TV show.
- Expand your computer access with something other than a standard mouse or keyboard
- Remain living in your own home and community or to return home from a nursing home and much more.
FREED’s AT services include:
- Getting Answers … Information
- Getting What You Need at no cost … Equipment Reuse
- Borrow It or Try It out First … Device Lending Library
AT Directory: Get Connected
The AT Network is hosted by the collaboration of Independent Living Centers. It offers a free listing of resources for people interested in Assistive Technology. In it, you can find information on where to buy technology, insurance questions, technology for children, and funding sources. It also hosts a classified list for buying and selling used AT devices.
Assistive technology just might be a key to your life having more independence, activity, safety and rewards.