Assistive technology (AT) is any kind of tool or piece of equipment that helps a person live more independently. AT also provides a way for people to participate more fully in life activities. AT can be high tech, such as a computer operated by eye movement, or low-tech, such as a specially designed door handle. AT can be big like an automated van lift for a wheelchair, or small like a Velcro-attached grip for a fork or pen.

AT can help someone:

  • Travel

  • Participate in recreational and social activities

  • Study

  • Work

  • Communicate with others

Examples of Assistive Technology

  • Home equipment, like a seat for using the bath, or adapted eating utensils
  • Educational and work aids, like book holders and adapted pencil grips

  • Travel equipment, like a wheelchair or an adapted car seat

  • Communication systems for people who need help with seeing, hearing, and/or speaking

  • Computer technology, like programs that convert speech to text or enlarge words on a screen

  • Sports and recreation equipment, like bowling balls with handgrips and one-handed fishing reels

Ask your child's primary care provider (PCP) about getting a professional evaluation for AT services.

Some types of AT may be covered by your child's health plan under the durable medical equipment (DME) benefit. Check the benefits handbook or call a Member Services Representative at your child's plan to find out what types of AT are covered. See Chapter 8 for more information about using AT in school. For other resources on AT, check the Assistive Technology and Adaptive Equipment section of the Family TIES Resource Directory.


This information is provided by the Division of Perinatal, Early Childhood, and Special Health Needs within the Department of Public Health.