Assistive technology

Assistive technology promotes greater independence for people with disabilities by enabling them to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing. An example:

“A normal telephone is inaccessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, but when combined with a text telephone may be perfectly usable. This converts typed characters into tones that may be sent over the telephone line, a deaf person is able to communicate immediately at a distance. Together with “relay” services, in which an operator reads what the deaf person types and types what a hearing person says, the deaf person is then given access to everyone’s telephone, not just those of people who possess text telephones. Many telephones now have volume controls, which are primarily intended for the benefit of people who are hard of hearing, but can be useful for all users at times and places where there is significant background noise. Some have larger keys well-spaced to facilitate accurate dialling.”

Telecare is a particular sort of assistive technology that uses electronic sensors connected to an alarm system to help caregivers manage risk and help vulnerable people stay independent at home longer.