The world of assistive technology (AT) is very exciting. It’s constantly innovating and changing for the better, developing new technologies and improving existing tools to support independence for people with disabilities. Just what *is* assistive technology? The Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) defines AT devices as any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. A more formal, legal definition of assistive technology can be found in the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 and is used in the Access Board’s Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards.
The AbleData database (funded by NIDRR) is one of the most comprehensive resources to learn more about AT devices. It includes more than 30,000 product descriptions, from complex environmental control systems to “do it yourself” AT solutions. We are constantly referring to AbleData and its AT-Lit database aw we gather information for our patrons. In addition to AbleData, NIDRR funds a wide range of AT projects. Here are several of them:
- Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Work Accommodations. Project Number: H133E070026.
- Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Accessible Public Transportation. Project Number:H133E0080019.
- Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Communication Enhancement (AAC-RERC). Project Number: H133E080011.
Our library includes thousands of articles, books, and reports on AT at home, in school, and at work. The following articles are just a few within the NARIC collection that speak about assistive technology:
- Technology for mobility in SCI 10 years from now. NARIC Accession Number: J63464.
- Individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities use of assistive technology devices in support provision. NARIC Accession Number: J63500.
- Technology supports for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. NARIC Accession Number:J602855.