Assistive Technology is technology used by individuals with disabilities in order to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible. Read our client success stories. Also learn more in our resource Assistive Technology for People with Brain Injury.
What is Assistive Technology?
Assistive Technology (AT) is defined as any piece of equipment, product system or service used to increase, maintain, and/or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities or limitations (ATIA, 2017). This term can refer to any type of assistive, adaptive, or rehabilitative device, along with the process of using these devices. Assistive technology can range from low tech to high tech devices depending on the individuals need and their given environment.
When can I use Assistive Technology?
The use of assistive technology is appropriate when there is a barrier in accomplishing an activity of daily living. This may be caused by an array of chronic conditions and/or diagnoses. Assistive technology offers a possible solution that may help provide individuals with more independence and prevent additional harm or injury. For example, an individual who has low vision or paralysis may install Dragon Dictation software to their computer which would allow that individual to communicate and use their computer without having to type or read the screen. The usage of assistive technology is individualized to each person given their specific abilities, needs and environment.
Where can I find Assistive Technology?
Since assistive technology is such a broad term and has many variations, the best way to explore these options is to call; Easter Seals Iowa Assistive Technology Center (ESATC) at (1-866-866-8272) or (515-289-4069). A team member will support you in identifying possible solutions that may assist a specific need. A team member can also provide demonstrations so the individual will be able to learn how to use the device(s). The ESATC Lending Library allows an individual to try devices free for 30 days allowing the individual to decide if a particular device will work well for them before they decide to purchase it. If applicable, the ESATC Durable Medical Equipment (DME) program has available recycled and refurbished devices for loan as well. If you have any questions or inquiries, please contact us.
Opportunities for individuals to learn about, sample and use assistive technology include the following:
Easter Seals loans durable medical equipment such as electric hospital beds, electric and manual wheelchairs, and adaptive bathroom devices to those in need. Equipment is provided at a nominal fee and can be used for an unlimited length of time. Easter Seals seeks donations of used medical equipment for use in this program.
The Demonstration Center, located at Easter Seals Camp Sunnyside, showcases different types of assistive technologies, such as tub lifts, kitchen and bathroom features, and other items individuals may use to make their home more accessible. The Demonstration Center is a valuable resource in allowing clients to try equipment before it is brought into the home.
The Lending Library inventory is available to use on our Easter Seals Iowa AT4All website. Equipment and resources are available for families, individuals, counselors and schools. Up to 5 pieces of equipment can be checked out for 30 days to find out if it will work for them before deciding to purchase from vendors. These include small devices and gadgets to support daily activities.
The Used Equipment Referral Service (UERS) is now known as the Iowa Assistive Technology Exchange Program (Exchange). This “classified ads” feature connects Iowans with the Assistive Technology they are in need of statewide. Iowans with Assistive Technology equipment that they no long use are eligible to create an account and post these items for sale on this Exchange Program. Iowans in need of Assistive Technology may peruse the listings and contact the seller directly. This service can be found at www.eastersealsiowa.at4all.com. If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org (email), 1-866-866-8272 (Phone), 515-289-4069 (TTY).
The Assistive Technology Center is located at Easter Seals Iowa Camp Sunnyside, 401 NE 66th Ave. in Des Moines, Iowa 50313. To make an appointment to pick-up or donate medical equipment, tour the Demonstration Center or visit the Lending Library, please call 515-309-2395 or 515-289-4069 (TTY) or email email@example.com.
The Easter Seals Iowa Assistive Technology Program is made possible through funding from the Center for Disabilities and Development at University of Iowa Health Care supported by the State AT Program grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Administration for Community Living or HHS.