Assistive or Adaptive Technology: A Definition

According to the definition proposed in the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, assistive or adaptive technology refers to “…products, devices, or equipment, whether acquired commercially, modified or customized, that are used to maintain, increase or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.” Assistive technology products enable people with disabilities to accomplish daily living tasks, assist in communication, education, work or recreation activities, and enhance independence and quality of life. For individuals who are blind or have low vision, assistive technology refers to any adaptive device or software program that helps to overcome the barriers presented by vision loss. You will also see “access technology” used to describe assistive technology from time to time. The following resources will help you explore the ever-expanding range of assistive/adaptive/access devices, workplace technologies, and hands-on workshops and conferences: