Assistive Technology

Last Updated: May 30, 2020

Definition - What does Assistive Technology mean?

Assistive technology (AT) refers to devices or services that facilitate job performance requirements through adaptation, modification, and revision of protocol tailored for individuals with disabilities. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) sets the criterion for the use of specialized equipment, accessories, and educational training resources available to disabled persons to execute regular activities on a daily basis.

WorkplaceTesting explains Assistive Technology

A rehabilitation program often includes assistive technology as a viable method in helping individuals assimilate into the workplace to optimize their eligibility. For employers, this can mean introducing ergonomic solutions that furnish easy access, maneuverability, and other accommodations to people with a physical or other impairment. Assistive technology devices or services can entail the use of hearing, mobile, and visual aids, prosthetic limbs, and auxiliary transportation.

Individuals with disabilities can encounter difficulties acquiring jobs without assistive technology to meet their needs in the competitive workplace. For this reason, applicants and/or employees may experience perceived biases from employers that consider disabilities a financial setback. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 is a federal mandate that stipulates across-the-board equal employment opportunities to individuals with disabilities.

Reasonable accommodations can be made in different industrial trades whether the role involves sedentary work or manual labor. However, many employers may be reluctant to utilize assistive technology due to lack of knowledge on its effectiveness to help disabled persons perform at a level that corresponds to job standards. The benefits of assistive technology promote a culture of inclusivity in the workplace where individuals with disabilities can perform duties and tasks at a caliber that allows job placement and career advancement.

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