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.
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.
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
The mission of the ATA is to increase the use of technology by children and adults with disabilities and functional limitations.
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.
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.net provides information on AT devices and services as well as other community resources for people with disabilities and the public.