Assistive Technology and Equipment

Serving Benton, Henry, Johnson, Lafayette, Pettis and Saline County, Missouri.

Assistive technology is a term used to include assistive , adaptive, and rehabilitative equipment for people with disabilities and also includes the process used in selecting, locating, and using them. Sometimes assistive technology is referred to as durable medical equipment.

Who pays for assistive technology?

The answer depends on the technology, the use, and the user. Many kinds of AT may cost you little or nothing, even for some very expensive items. Some examples:

  • School systems pay for general special education learning materials as well as technology specified in an IEP.
  • Government programs (Social Security, veteran’s benefits, or state Medicaid agencies) pay for certain assistive technology if a doctor prescribes it as a necessary medical device.
  • Private health insurance pays for certain assistive technology if a doctor prescribes it as a necessary medical or rehabilitative device.
  • Rehabilitation and job training programs, whether funded by government or private agencies, may pay for assistive technology and training to help people get jobs.
  • Employers may pay for assistive technology that is a reasonable accommodation to enable an employee to perform essential job tasks.

Assistive Technology and Equipment Types

Mobility aids

Wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, canes, prosthetic devices. Lightweight, high-performance wheelchairs have been designed for organized sports, such as basketball, tennis, and racing.

Cognitive assistance

Computer or electrical assistive devices to help people function following brain injury

Computer software/hardware

Voice recognition programs, screen readers, screen enlargement applications help people with mobility and sensory impairments

Classroom assistive devices

Automatic page-turners, book holders, adapted pencil grips

Hearing assistance

Hearing aids, amplifiers, typing telephones and closed captioning

Augmentative/Alternative Communication

Allows individuals who cannot speak or whose speech is not understood by others to communicate. This includes picture boards, voice output communication devices, software and computers.

Visual Aids

Large-print books, books on tape, magnifiers, talking computer software and braillers

Wheelchairs

People are not confined to their wheelchair; a person in a wheelchair can get around as quickly as anyone can walking. Wheelchairs have distinct styles for special purposes, such as basketball, racing or rugged trail use. Standing chairs act as normal manual chairs but also help the rider rise to a standing position. Selecting the right chair, especially for a first-time user should work with an occupational therapist that has experience with various kinds of wheelchairs.

Barriers to the community

Buildings, businesses and workplaces can remove or modify barriers with ramps, automatic door openers, grab bars, and wider doorways. Which leads us to Universal Design…..

What is Universal Design?

Universal design means products and buildings are designed to ensure they are accessible and usable by virtually everyone, including individuals with disabilities.

There are laws making schools, public transportation, housing, public accommodations and sidewalks fully accessible.

For more information on Universal design:  The Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University https://projects.ncsu.edu/www/ncsu/design/sod5/cud/

Links

Missouri Assistive Technology

The mission of Missouri Assistive Technology is to increase access to assistive technology for Missourians with all types of disabilities, of all ages.

http://at.mo.gov/

Heartland Medical Equipment

Serving the needs of mid Missouri

http://www.heartlandmedequip.com/