Assistive technology or AT as most people call it is a phrase that is used in reference to any equipment, facility or product that is used in increasing, maintaining or improving the functional capabilities of people with disabilities. The term can also be used to describe the process of selection, location and use of the devices. Assistive technology is of great importance since it enhances independence of people with disabilities. Through the devices, they are able to perform tasks that that were almost impossible or had difficulties in attending to on their own.
Over the years, people with disabilities have often been sidelined when it comes to doing certain things. However, this has significantly changed with the introduction of assistive technology since there are quite a number of things that the disabled can now do without necessarily getting help. The technology is diverse considering the fact that people have different forms of disabilities. This means that there are various kinds of assistive technology products that people with disabilities can acquire based on their conditions.
Assistive technology can help people with imparities in hearing, mobility, speech, learning, typing and even remembering. Some of the most common assistive technology products include wheelchairs, power lifts, eye gaze, braces, educational software, head trackers, Braille, among others. It is always advisable that one puts the specific needs of the person with disability when choosing the most ideal assistive technology device o acquire. In case you may have problems, it is important to inquire from assistive technology experts.
Apart from just considering the functionality of the assistive technology equipment or service, it is also important to note that each comes at a price. The prices vary depending on the particular device that you choose and they do not usually come cheaply. Therefore, it would also be ideal to compare the prices after getting recommendations on the best AT device to acquire. Besides, you should also consider durability of the device in order to get the best value for money.
Assistive technology can be applied in almost all sectors since there are several things that people with disabilities would love to do on daily basis. Some of the sectors where it has been extensively applied over the years include education, transport and communication and sports. Besides, many governments today have come up with policies that require construction of public facilities to take into consideration, the needs of people with disabilities.
Despite the numerous benefits of assistive technology, it also has certain cons that you may need to note. One of the major setbacks of assistive technology is that most of the devices are quite expensive and can only be acquired by those who are financially stable. For people with disabilities to be able to effectively use AT equipment, proper training is required. This may be time consuming and also costly. Technology has its flaws, thus, may at times be ineffective due to system failures making them quite unreliable at certain times.
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