Monday, June 9, 2008

Assistive technology

Provide a definition of Assistive technology .

The Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act, 1988 defines assistive technology as “any item, piece of equipment, or product system… that is used to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.”

Describe one piece of equipment introduced in the assistive technology tutorial. Provide information on size, cost and functions.

Sunny Sunshine Switch

Size: 14" X 14" X 8''

$US 82.95

Requires 6AA Batteries

This is a switching device, which means that when it is plugged into any electrical appliance, eg. a radio, you can turn it on and off by pushing the button/switch.

The centre button is large and has bendable arms that come out from it, touching either with activate the switch so accurate motor control is not necessary.
The device also produces coloured lights, vibration and music, when the switch is activated, this feature can be switched off.

How does your chosen piece of equipment increased functional capacity for the user? Provide examples here from the tutorial and lecture.

The switch gives the user some control over their environment and allows them to become active participants, rather than passive observers. The switch can be placed to take advantage of any purposeful movement that the user is capable of eg. side flexion of the neck to hit the switch with their head or abduction at the hip to hit the switch with their knee. It allows otherwise meaningless movement to produce meaningful results.

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