Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology

The Federal definition of assistive technology is any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

Technology can be a substitute such as an alternative augmentative communication device that provides vocal output for a child who cannot communicate with her voice. This means that a child who cannot speak can push a button and ask her mom for an apple. Or tell her sister her new dress is pretty. It means a child in school can ask questions of his teacher or talk with her friends. It means a worker can converse with others in his office.

UCP is pleased to offer the UCP Elsie S. Bellows fund, which helps provide AT equipment to individuals with disabilities. This program is available only through UCP affiliates. Contact your UCP Local Affiliate for information on how to apply.

State Programs

Each state has a federally-mandated AT program. These programs were set up to provide technology related assistance to people with disabilities. They will have information about low cost computers, loan programs, AT evaluations and more. 

Find your State AT Program and your State Assistive Technology and Telework Financial Loan Programs.

Each state has a federally-mandated Assistive Technology program. The program provides technology related assistance to people with disabilities including information about low cost computers, loan programs, AT evaluations and more.  Find more information about AT programs in your state through the Association of Assistive Technology.

Other Helpful Resources

Alliance for Technology Access

The mission of the ATA is to increase the use of technology by children and adults with disabilities and functional limitations.

Assistive Technology Industry Association

The Assistive Technology Industry Association (“ATIA”) is a not-for-profit membership organization of manufacturers, sellers and providers of technology-based assistive devices and/or services. Its mission is to serve as the collective voice of the Assistive Technology industry so that the best products and services are delivered to people with disabilities.

Pass It on Center

The Pass It on Center fosters the appropriate reuse of AT so that people with disabilities can get the affordable AT they need to live, learn, work and play more independently.


Able Data provides objective information about assistive technology products and rehabilitative equipment.

AssistiveTech provides information on AT devices and services as well as other community resources for people with disabilities and the public.

Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS)

Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) is a telephone service that allows persons with hearing or speech disabilities to place and receive telephone calls. TRS uses operators, called communications assistants (CAs), to facilitate telephone calls between people with hearing and speech disabilities and other individuals. TRS is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories for local and/or long-distance calls. TRS providers – generally telephone companies – are compensated for the costs of providing TRS from either a state or a federal fund. There is no cost to the TRS user.

To learn more about TRS, please visit:

Access to quality, affordable health care is of highest importance to individuals with disabilities and their families. Navigating the changing health care system can be challenging.

UCP is a voice for individuals with disabilities, their families, and providers in the debate to ensure quality and affordable access to care. UCP will continue to help shape the health policy debate and inform individuals of how to get and stay involved.

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