What is Assistive Technology?

Published on 30 Nov 2020


Assistive technology, commonly known as AT, can be as complex as a home automation system or as simple as modified cutlery.

But the desired result is the same, in that anything which helps people independently perform daily activities can be considered AT.

It can be included in a participant’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan where it is a reasonable and necessary support that will meet their needs and help them pursue their goals.

Most of us use AT in our everyday lives, this could be a television remote or a robotic vacuum cleaner.

For people with disability, AT helps them reach their potential at home, in the community and the workplace by helping them independently perform daily activities.

AT is the blanket term for any piece of equipment, software program or system that provides practical solutions to everyday life activities and can improve, increase and maintain the functional capabilities of people with complex needs.

Some examples of AT are:

  • Daily living aids including modified eating utensils, doorknob grippers and key turners
  • Sensory aids including loop systems, magnifying lamps, hearing aids and Braille
  • Seating and positioning aids for postural support including cushions, adapted seating and standing desks
  • Mobility aids including wheelchairs, vehicle modifications and walking sticks
  • Recreational aids including adaptive controls for video games, wheelchair accessible tents and adaptive fishing rods or golf clubs
  • Home/workplace modifications including ramps, accessible bathrooms, lifts and widened doorways
  • Communication devices help people communicate through specialised software including apps
  • Prosthetics and orthotics including artificial limbs or other orthotic items
  • Computer access aids including modified or alternate keyboards, voice to text software and touch screens

As part of the NDIS Partners in the Community program, APM Communities help people with disability in several regions in Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory to access support.