This chapter provides an overview of assistive technology (AT) devices and services, including definitions, history, and legislation. It also discusses the use of AT for people with communication disorders, impaired mobility, hearing and visual impairments, and cognitive/learning disabilities. In addition, this chapter covers the selection of appropriate technology and training in its use; suggests ways to avoid the abandonment of AT by patients and caregivers; and discusses the principles of clinical assessment and physician responsibility. New to this edition is a discussion of the use of mainstream technologies by persons with disabilities. Finally, it briefly discusses the future in terms of research and development and application of emerging technologies to the needs of people with disabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBraddom's Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
ISBN (Electronic)9780323625395
ISBN (Print)9780323625401
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2020


  • assistive technology (AT)
  • augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)
  • cochlear implants
  • computer-assisted real-time translation (CART)
  • electronic aids to daily living (EADLs)
  • electronic voice output system
  • environmental control units (ECUs)
  • hearing aids
  • home automation system
  • lower body mobility device
  • portable amplification system
  • smart-home technology
  • upper body mobility device
  • visual aids
  • voice recognition (VR)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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