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Assistive Technology Overview

presented by Donna Case

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial— Donna Case receives compensation from MedBridge for the production of this course. There are no other relevant financial relationships. Nonfinancial— No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

Accreditation Check:
What is assistive technology? It is a broad range of devices, services, strategies, and practices that ameliorate the problems faced by individuals who have disabilities (Cooke and Polgar, 2015). Or, as defined by federal law, assistive technology encompasses any kind of process, system, or equipment that maintains or improves the capabilities of people with disabilities of any kind: physical or cognitive. This course will address determination of appropriate technology as it relates to the strengths and weaknesses of the individual, the specific task required, the environment(s) in which it will be used, and the tools required to remove specific barrier(s) to an individual's participation in meaningful occupations.

Meet Your Instructor

Donna Case, PhD, OTL

Donna Case, PhD, OTL, began her work with assistive technology more than 30 years ago when working with adults with significant multiple disabilities who had been removed from Michigan’s State Institutions. She received a master's degree in Interdisciplinary Technology from Eastern Michigan University to facilitate her students' ability to interact in meaningful ways with their…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Overview of Assistive Technology

This chapter will define Assistive Technology as it pertains to individuals with disabilities.

2. The Efficacy of Assistive Technology

This chapter will discuss the ways in which assistive technology allows individuals with disabilities to do things they were formerly unable to do, do things more efficiently, and/or improve the quality of tasks attempted.

3. The Assistive Technology Continuum

Successful selection of assistive technology is dependent on determining the individual and his or her support team’s strengths and barriers to access. Occupational therapists are uniquely qualified to address the factors that impact how successful an individual will be in utilizing a specific assistive technology.

4. Determining Appropriate Technology

Determining appropriate technology is a mixture of science and art. The worst outcome in determination of assistive technology is abandonment. Careful planning and preparation is required for facilitating successful implementation of assistive technology.

More Courses in this Series

Assistive Technology Teams, Funding, and Switch Access

Presented by Donna Case, PhD, OTL

Assistive Technology Teams, Funding, and Switch Access

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
Assistive technology can allow individuals with disabilities to find meaning and participate in their homes and communities. There are many factors that impact an individual with a disability successfully implementing that technology. The best assistive technology must be accessible to the individual with a disability, and without it, the technology and desired outcomes remain out of reach. This course will address how to develop an assistive technology team, possible funding sources for assistive technology, the components that should be considered for an individual to access assistive technology, and how to determine an individual’s access to the assistive technology.

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Communication Assistive Technology

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Communication Assistive Technology

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Many individuals with disabilities experience social and community isolation. These individuals may experience difficulties in communicating with others. For some individuals with disabilities, communicating their wishes and needs gives them meaning. Communication can be verbal or written and is essential in sharing what an individual knows or wishes to know. This course will present an overview of communication and written exchange of information for individuals with disabilities, including augmentative and alternative communication, adaptions currently available through computer or tablet systems, and add-on apps or programs to facilitate various forms of communication.

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Home and Community Assistive Technology

Presented by Donna Case, PhD, OTL

Home and Community Assistive Technology

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Individuals with disabilities want to live and participate in their own homes and communities. Too often, individuals with disabilities live in homes and communities that lack accessibility. These barriers prevent the individual from being independent and experiencing meaning in their life. Application of universal design concepts and use of assistive technology for the home and community facilitates meaningful participation in these areas. This course will present an overview of universal design concepts as they relate to home and community, technologies for home and community, and transportation barriers and solutions.

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Assistive Technology for Play and Leisure

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Assistive Technology for Play and Leisure

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Piaget stated that “play is the work of children.” Through play, a child learns to explore, develop, and master physical and social skills that form the foundation for future academic and life skills. Children with disabilities face many barriers to play. This lack of play leads to difficulties with academic and lifelong skills. Assistive technology allows children and adults with disabilities to engage in play or leisure individually and with others. This course will present an overview of the components that play facilitates, how assistive technology facilitates individuals with disabilities to participate in play or leisure, and what barriers individuals with disabilities may experience related to play and leisure and how assistive technology can help remove those barriers.

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Assistive Technology for Individuals with Specific Impairments

Presented by Donna Case, PhD, OTL

Assistive Technology for Individuals with Specific Impairments

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Individuals with disabilities want to live meaningful and independent lives that include participation in school, home, and community environments. Individuals with specific impairments, such as hearing, visual, or cognition, may experience barriers to access within various domains and environments. Assistive technology allows individuals with these impairments to achieve meaning and active participation in their lives. This course will provide an overview of general considerations for assistive technologies available for individuals with visual, hearing, or cognitive impairments as well as resources for determining assistive technologies for these individuals.

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