Assistive Technology

What is Assistive Technology?

Assistive technology is technology used by persons with disabilities in order to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible. Assistive technology can include mobility devices such as wheelchairs, lift systems, and even computer hardware, software, and peripherals that assist people with disabilities in accessing vital information.

How did the Assistive Technology Act Begin?

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 (The Tech Act). This act was amended in 1994 and 1998, and replaced with the Assistive Technology Act of 2004 ("AT Act").  The Tech Act was intended to promote people’s awareness and access to assistive technology devices and services. The Act’s goal is to provide assistive technology to persons with disabilities, so they can more fully participate in education, employment, and daily activities on a level playing field with other members of their communities. The Act covers people with disabilities of all ages, all disabilities, in all environments. (Source:  The Tech Act of 1988)

Is the Assistive Technology Act Funded?

The Assistive Technology Act provides States with financial assistance to implement programs designed to meet the assistive technology needs of individuals with disabilities. For more information on funding resources, visit the website of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) at www.resna.org./resources.

Housing and Assistive Technology, Inc. (HAT)

HAT recognizes that substantial progress has been made in the development of assistive technology devices, including adaptations to existing equipment, that significantly benefit persons with disabilities of all ages.  HAT utilizes these devices to increase the involvement of such individuals in, and reduce expenditures associated with, programs and activities such as early intervention, education, rehabilitation and training, employment, residential living, independent living, recreation, and other aspects of daily living.