In today’s technologically focused world, there are so many innovations at our disposal to make our lives easier. This assistive technology has been especially useful for individuals with disabilities, aging populations, and people with non-communicable diseases. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated one billion people need assistive products to meet their daily needs. What makes certain technologies assistive and how can they benefit individuals with special needs? Read our article below to understand its importance to these vulnerable populations.
What is Assistive Technology?
Assistive technologies are any item, equipment, software program, or product that’s meant to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of people with disabilities. Solutions can range from traditional walkers and wheelchairs to specialized keyboards and mouses to operate a computer. These solutions have provided individuals with special needs the support they require to live an independent life.
The Benefits of Assistive Technology
Overall, assistive products help promote a person’s well-being and independence by enriching their ability to learn, work, and perform daily activities. Technology has tremendous potential in helping people reach their goals and look past their disabilities. Assistive technology enables individuals to:
- Care for themselves and their families
- Learn in typical school environments and other educational settings
- Access information online
- Enjoy everyday activities
- Participate in their community
Additionally, this technology benefits these individuals’ employers, teachers, family members, and anyone who interacts with them.
How Do You Choose the Right Technology?
Typically, the best way to choose the right assistive technology is by consulting with a team of professionals and consultants. This may involve consulting with doctors, regular and special education teachers, speech therapists, occupational therapists, and other specialists.
Before you invest in a specific product, it’s important to ask the right questions to ensure it is the right fit for you. This includes:
- Does this tool address you or the individual’s specific needs and challenges?
- Does it utilize strengths?
- Is there a simpler tool that would work as effectively?
- Will it be easy to incorporate into everyday life?
- Is it portable?
- Will you have support or training in how it works?
- If it is for a child, can they use it both at home and in school?
- How reliable is it?
- What technical support is available?
Gompers Serves Individuals with Disabilities to Increase Their Independence
For almost 75 years, Gompers has served individuals with disabilities in the Phoenix metro area to increase their independence. This involves comprehensive services like day training, private schooling, transportation, and incorporating assistive technology into their daily lives. We care deeply for this community and it’s our goal to help them move forward. Contact Gompers today to learn more about our program and how we can assist you or a loved one.