Using Assistive Technology
Assistive technology is any device or system that helps individuals with disabilities to perform tasks that they may otherwise be unable to do. It can be used to help people with cerebral palsy (CP) with mobility, communication, and other daily activities.
There are many different types of assistive technology available for people with CP, including:
- Mobility devices: Wheelchairs, walkers, and scooters can help people with CP to move around more easily and independently. Other mobility devices, such as braces and splints, can help to support and stabilize weakened muscles.
- Communication devices: Speech-generating devices and computer software can help people with CP to communicate more effectively and express their needs and wants. There are a wide range of communication devices available, including devices that use eye gaze, touch screens, and switches.
- Adaptive equipment: Adaptive equipment can be used to help people with CP with a variety of tasks, such as eating, dressing, and using the bathroom. Examples include adapted utensils, adapted clothing, and adapted toilet seats.
- Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC): AAC refers to any method of communication that supplements or replaces speech. It can include gestures, sign language, and picture boards, as well as more sophisticated technologies, such as speech-generating devices.
- Environmental control systems: Environmental control systems allow people with CP to control their environment, such as their lights, thermostat, and appliances, using a device, such as a switch or a touch screen.
It is important to note that assistive technology is not a substitute for therapy or other forms of treatment. It is meant to supplement and support treatment and can help people with CP to lead more independent and fulfilling lives.
In conclusion, assistive technology is any device or system that helps individuals with disabilities to perform tasks that they may otherwise be unable to do. It can be used to help people with cerebral palsy (CP) with mobility, communication, and other daily activities, and can include mobility devices, communication devices, adaptive equipment, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), and environmental control systems. Assistive technology is not a substitute for therapy or other forms of treatment, but is meant to supplement and support treatment and can help people with CP to lead more independent and fulfilling lives.
Assistive Technology (AT) is a generic term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices and the process used in selecting, locating, and using them.
AT promotes greater independence for people with disabilities by enabling them to perform tasks they formerly could not accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing, by providing enhancements to or changed methods of interacting with the technology needed to accomplish such tasks.
According to disability advocates, technology, all too often, is created without regard to people with disabilities, and unnecessary barriers make new technology inaccessible to hundreds of millions.
Universal (or broadened) accessibility or universal design means excellent usability, particularly for people with disabilities. But, argue advocates of assistive technology, universally accessible technology yields great rewards to the typical user; the good accessible design is universal design, they say.
The classic example of an assistive technology that has improved everyone’s life is the “curb cuts” in the sidewalk at street crossings. While these curb cuts surely enable pedestrians with mobility impairments to cross the street, they have also aided parents with carriages and strollers, shoppers with carts, and travelers and workers with pull-type bags, not to mention skateboarders and inline skaters.
Ellen uses Assistive Technology to go about her day-to-day life – both at home and in college. Ellen has Cerebral Palsy and has difficulty controlling her body – she can access her Assistive Technology using two head switches.
Through these head switches, Ellen can drive her powered chair, communicate with people, access the computer and internet and control her TV and household…
Augmentative Communication Devices
These are devices that help people communicate easily and an example of this device is a Dynavox. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) refers “to an area of research, clinical, and educational practice.
AAC involves attempts to study and when necessary to compensate for temporary or permanent impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions of individuals with severe disorders of speech-language production and/or comprehension, including spoken and written modes of communication
Sara Pyszka – A DynaVox Success Story
Sara Pyszka has sung the national anthem at two major league baseball games, led the Pledge of Allegiance at the 2004 Republican National Convention, and performed several original compositions in front of live audiences.
Sara also lives with the effects of cerebral palsy and cannot walk or talk. She, a college sophomore, uses her DynaVox Vmax to speak her