presented by Donna Case
Assistive technology can allow individuals with disabilities to find meaning and participate in their homes and communities. There are many factors that impact an individual with a disability successfully implementing that technology. The best assistive technology must be accessible to the individual with a disability, and without it, the technology and desired outcomes remain out of reach. This course will address how to develop an assistive technology team, possible funding sources for assistive technology, the components that should be considered for an individual to access assistive technology, and how to determine an individual’s access to the assistive technology.
Donna Case, PhD, OTL, began her work with assistive technology more than 30 years ago when working with adults with significant multiple disabilities who had been removed from Michigan’s State Institutions. She received a master's degree in Interdisciplinary Technology from Eastern Michigan University to facilitate her students' ability to interact in meaningful ways with their environments and community. She received an Individual Interdisciplinary PhD in Industrial Engineering and Occupational Therapy, looking at improving employment options for individuals with severe disabilities using assistive technology. Donna has been teaching courses in assistive technology to occupational therapy, engineering, and special education students for more than twenty years. She has written chapters and articles on assistive technology for a variety of publications.
Evaluation for and prescription of a specific assistive technology requires a team that is comprised of individuals from varying disciplines. Everyone brings his or her discipline's perspective and knowledge, thus providing for successful implementation of assistive technology.
Once an Assistive Technology Team has determined the specific technology that is required to allow an individual to perform the desired task, funding for the technology must be found. This chapter will discuss funding options that are available for assistive technology.
For an individual with a disability to successfully utilize assistive technology, they must be able to access it. Successful access must be quick and repeatable for the individual to sustain the assistive technology.
Successful utilization of assistive technology requires appropriate access. This chapter will look at several types of switch access and factors to determine which is most appropriate.