What is assistive technology?

Assistive technology is any kind of technology and/or tool that can be used to enhance the functional independence of a person with a disability. Often, for people with disabilities, accomplishing daily tasks such as communicating with others, going to school or work, or participating in activities can be a challenge. Assistive Technology (AT) devices are tools to help overcome those challenges and enable people living with disabilities to enhance and have access to a quality of life, that may otherwise not be known, and lead more independent lives.

The mission of this blog is to serve as a voice of a constant researcher in the field of educational and assistive technologies so that the best products, strategies and services may be located easily, in hopes that they will then be delivered, taught and used to better the lives of people with disabilities.


Private Business Desription


I have been providing Assistive Technology services in Butte County since October of 1997 at which time I received my Assistive Technology Certificate from Northridge University. My background includes teaching students with a variety of disabilities for 18 years, previous to working in Assistive Technology.

Assistive Technology, or AT, is any item, piece of equipment, product or system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities. Assistive technology products are specialty products designed to provide additional accessibility to individuals who have physical or cognitive difficulties, impairments, and disabilities whether through illness, accident or from birth.
My services are designed to assist people with disabilities to gain more independence in their life.

I am equipped to conduct evaluations in the following areas:
1. Augmentative and Alternative Communication.... low and high tech approaches to supplement or provide a means of expression for an individual who is unable to speak.
2. Computer Access.... strategies that enable an individual to use the computer through means other than the standard keyboard.
3. Computer Performance Enhancement.... strategies to increase speed, accuracy, endurance, and independence in using the computer.
4. Environmental Control... ability to operate equipment and appliances without assistance from others.
5. Access...strategies to position and activate equipment and materials to maximize independence (prefer to work with client’s Occupational Therapist for this evaluation)
6. Environmental modifications and adaptations in home and job settings...on-site analysis of settings.

I am not equipped to conduct evaluations in:
1. Seating and positioning...equipment and supports to produce a comfortable and efficient seating arrangement.
2. Assistive listening...amplification and alternative strategies to perform tasks that require auditory skills, excluding the use of hearing aids.

Services Explanation:

An AT evaluation will comprise of gathering background information, interviewing family members, service providers or specialists, observing present skills and environment, trial on various AT alternatives. When clients are receiving services from specialist such as Speech and Language or Occupational Therapists, their participation will be crucial in the assessment process.

Evaluation hours- the amount of time that is needed to conduct an evaluation will vary greatly depending on the need. Communication evaluations are the lengthiest evaluations to conduct and require time after the evaluation to set-up equipment and train care providers in the use of the equipment. The time schedule would need to be based on individual needs and can be estimated at an initial screening. The initial screening time will be added to the evaluation hours and will never exceed one hour. If the evaluation is not agreed upon, there will be no charge for the initial screening.

Once the evaluation is completed, a comprehensive report will be provided that will include equipment needs and strategies for use. Follow-up time needed to provide set-up, training and support will be shared once evaluation is complete. Time request for this service will be based on complexity of equipment recommendation and shared in written report.

Technology Support
This service includes the technology related support required to set up equipment and get it to the point where it is ready for its intended user. This includes activities such as loading software onto a computer and installing necessary peripherals, customizing software for an individual's specific application needs, troubleshooting equipment when it is not performing correctly, and performing maintenance, troubleshooting or repair.

This service consists of individualized training for the assistive technology user, family members, and/or service providers in the basic operation and care for a particular piece of equipment or software.

Please contact me for further information.