Assistive technology includes a range of devices, equipment, tools, resources, techniques that help make life easier for those with disabilities. Examples include mobility devices (wheelchairs, canes), adapted eating utensils, shower chairs, speech-to-text, and so so much more!
Assistive technology can be broken down into a couple different categories.
High Technology: These are the devices that are typically more complex and more expensive - power wheelchairs, eye gaze systems, etc.
Low Technology: This type of AT is typically simple, cheaper and can often be DIYed with items at home! This category includes highlighters, calendars, etc.
There are two other distinctions within assistive technology that are important to note.
Hard Technology: These are the tangible aspects of AT - the actual technology itself
Soft Technology: This involves decision-making, training, and education on/about the AT - This is where I come in!
Who can benefit from AT?
Anyone whose daily life is impacted by disability, illness, age or any other change in functioning! Common diagnoses include:
Spinal Cord Injury
Traumatic Brain Injury
And much more!
What are the benefits of using AT?
Assistive technology empowers individuals to keep living their best lives. It increases independence, while decreasing the need for caregiver assistance. By supporting the individual in completing occupations, AT can help maintain and increase current functional status.
According to the World Health Organization, only 1 in 10 people who need assistive technology have access to it. This is due to high costs, lack of awareness, availability, trained professionals, and policy. Hamlin Consulting, LLC is dedicated to making this ratio smaller and increasing awareness of the benefits of assistive technology.
Why Occupational Therapy?
While mainstream technology is increasing access to assistive technology, it is still so important to undergo a full assistive technology evaluation by a trained professional. According to a study done by Phillips and Zhao (2010), almost 30% of assistive technologies are completely abandoned. An assistive technology evaluation can help prevent this technology abandonment. An Occupational Therapist will look at all aspects of the individual, the environment, and the technology to make a proper fit. Hamlin Consulting, LLC prides themselves on fitting and adapting the technology to the individual - not the other way around.