What is assistive technology?
Assistive technology is any device, software or resource that can increase skills and maximize an individual’s potential. Due to:
- educational barriers, or
- the disability itself,
adults, as well as families with children who have special needs, sometimes have difficulty accessing conventional resources.
Often, there are technologies available that can help increase the opportunities of individuals with developmental disabilities and enhance the quality of life for them and their families.
Assistive Technology Solutions
Assistive technology solutions can range from the simple to the complex, but they all have one thing in common – they assist people with a wide range of disabilities and impairments to overcome their limitations and achieve greater independence.
Given that each solution is individualized to meet the user’s unique needs, it can take both time and an equipment trial period to find the appropriate solution that offers the most benefit. However, this process can be greatly enhanced by an individual assessment/consultation and training.
Assistive Technology Project
At Lanterman, we have established a partnership with the Assistive Technology Exchange Center (ATEC) to expand assistive technology services for Lanterman clients. We call this partnership the Assistive Technology Project (ATP).
ATEC is a division of Goodwill of Orange County. Established in 1996, ATEC is one of only a few comprehensive assistive technology centers in California, and provides a wide array of assistive technology services to people with disabilities.
Through the ATP, ATEC’s services to Lanterman include:
- individualized assistive technology assessments,
- development of individualized assistive technology service plans,
- individualized and group training,
- equipment installation,
- technical assistance, and
ATEC’s assistive technology expertise spans from:
- alternative computer access,
- augmentative and alternative communication,
- low vision-blindness,
- learning disabilities,
- environmental control units, to
- deaf and hearing impaired,
- and many others.
This new partnership makes available a whole new array of assistive technology services for Lanterman clients and their “Circle of Support.”
“Circle of Support”
ATEC recognizes that for any success with assistive technology to be realized, a close working relationship with the clients’ “Circle of Support” must be developed. The “Circle of Support” includes family, friends or anyone who is providing services for the client. All services provided by ATEC will include an invitation to the clients’ “Circle of Support” to participate as fully as possible in the client’s plan.
Assistive Technology Services
Services available to Lanterman’s clients through ATEC include:
- quarterly assistive technology workshops,
- weekly assistive technology labs,
- individualized assistive technology consultations/evaluations and
ATEC clinicians will develop individualized assistive technology service plans and follow-up with the “Circle of Support to determine the success of the services.
ATEC will also offer ongoing technical support in the following areas:
- low vision and blindness aids and technology,
- adapted computer access,
- augmentative and alternative communication,
- environmental control units, and
- educational aids and technology.
- ATEC provides workshops on a variety of timely subjects related to assistive technology and augmentative communication methods.
- ATEC wishes to be responsive to the need of the community, so please contact us at ATEC@ocgoodwill.org or 714.361.6200 with your workshop ideas or needs.
Weekly Assistive Technology Labs
By appointment, these labs are designed as a basis for:
- Determining the need for assistive technology
- A quick training update on current assistive technology
- Informational interviewing on assistive technology
- Simple assistive technology trials
Contact your Service Coordinator to schedule an appointment for the assistive technology lab.
Individualized Assistive Technology Evaluations (Consultations)
- Comprehensive evaluations
- Includes trial periods of equipment when appropriate
- A comprehensive report is generated with recommendations
Assistive Technology Training
Training of the client and the client’s “Circle of Support” on the recommendations in order to ensure success.
Assistive technology equipment may be borrowed by:
- a person with a developmental disability,
- family members,
- advocates, or
- service providers providing service or assistance to someone with a developmental disability (e.g. therapist, teacher, rehabilitation counselor).
Equipment includes everything borrowed from the ATP, including, but not limited to books and software.
Items available for loan can be viewed by visiting library.lanterman.org and using the words “assistive technology” in your search.
Signing up for Assistive Technology Services
If you are interested in learning more about assistive technology and how it may be of benefit to you, contact your service coordinator. All referrals for services through ATEC must be made through your service coordinator.