skip to Main Content
Assistive Technology Basics

Assistive Technology Basics

Erin Martinez, PhD | Kansas State University

A revised direct-education program is available for use by all Extension professionals (and others!) – Assistive Technology Basics. Here is a teaser of what assistive technology is, why it’s important, and where you can learn more about the program.

What is assistive technology?

Assistive technology (sometimes called AT) is any tool or technology that helps a person complete functional tasks with ease and efficiency. Assistive technology is beneficial for people with disabilities or older adults, but most people use assistive technology every day. Do you wear glasses? Have you ever used a step stool? If you said yes, then you have used assistive technology.

Assistive technology can be low-tech or high-tech, inexpensive or expensive, something tiny or a large machine. Assistive technology can range from a rubber grip that helps you open a jar to high-tech computers that help people communicate using only their eyes. All assistive technologies can make daily tasks easier for everyone, but they will often have a special value to:

  • people with disabilities,
  • older adults,
  • people with noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes and stroke,
  • people with mental health conditions such as dementia and autism,
  • people with gradual functional decline, and
  • people recovering from injury, illness, or surgery.

Why is assistive technology so important?

Assistive technology is designed to promote a healthy, productive, independent, and dignified lifestyle. It helps to simplify everyday tasks and ensure safety. Using assistive technology can:

  • help people be more independent and live by themselves longer,
  • help people stay in the workforce longer and earn more money,
  • help caregivers by making daily tasks easier and reducing caregiving needs,
  • prevent future or worsening injuries and decline, and
  • help people stay in their community of choice.

Available Direct-Education Extension Programming

Revised and updated resources include a fact sheet, leader’s guide with activities, PowerPoint presentation, and 1-page evaluation. If you would like to build your own demonstration kit (highly recommended!), view the kit inventory and explore the purchasing guide. All materials can be found at this site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back To Top