What is Assistive Technology?
Any product or piece of equipment used to maintain or improve the functional capabilities of people with disabilities is an assistive technology (AT) device.
Assistive technology services can include evaluation, design, customization, modification, maintenance, repair, training, technical assistance, and identification of funding options.
Assistive Technology Specialty Areas at SVRI:
Comprehensive computer assessments and full implementation of recommended solutions are available to enable an individual with a disability to access state-of-the-art computer technology. The goal of the assessment and implementation services is to maximize performance and prevent the onset of a secondary injury or disability. Alternate input methods can include voice recognition, alternative keyboards, cursor control devices, and adaptive switches. Output options can include voice synthesis, customized monitor screens, and Braille.
Seating and Mobility
Assistance with the selection, fitting, and modification of mobility equipment is provided to maximize health and function for the consumer. Seating, positioning, propulsion, durability, maintenance, utility, and related issues are addressed in close collaboration with the consumer and with other interested parties including family, payee, and vendor.
Office and Industrial Ergonomics
Ergonomic and alternative keyboards, mice and other cursor control devices, workstation layout, phone systems, office lighting, seating, and work methods are all considered when conducting an office ergonomics assessment. Industrial ergonomics assessments consider repetitive strain injuries, materials handling, workflow, efficiency and other factors. Services include one-on-one ergonomics consultation and company-wide recommendations. Assessment, purchasing, installation and training on ergonomics and accommodations are services provided.
Sensory (Hearing & Vision) Technology
Complete assessments and full implementation of the recommended assistive technology solutions for people who have a hearing or vision loss. SVRI can identify and recommend assistive technology that can be used in the workplace, in the classroom, and at home or in the community. Examples of technology covered include assistive listening devices, signaling devices, low vision equipment and computer software solutions.
Although our AT services often recommend off-the-shelf assistive technology products, SVRI offers a full fabrication shop for custom products as needed. Optimizing the workstation or seating system for a consumer is often only possible when we go beyond what is available in the catalogs, and modify or design equipment specifically for the consumer.
Job Site Accommodations
Modifications to the work environment, workstation, position description, and/or work procedures can increase efficiency, reduce injuries, and allow a worker with a disability to meet the demands of a job. Certified Ergonomists and Certified Assistive Technology Practitioners recommend and implement worksite modifications and accommodations.
Assessment and implementation services are provided to allow a person with a disability to use a vehicle as a driver or passenger. Emphasis is placed on individual needs and safety. Driver assessments and training can also be arranged.
Pre-Driving Evaluation & Training
A driving simulator provides an opportunity for individuals to safely practice skills necessary for driving. Many types of situations are available to allow individuals to apply their knowledge in a realistic, but simulated, environment. This allows SVRI staff to evaluate a potential driver’s strengths and weaknesses and provide recommendations. The driving simulator training can be individualized and ranges from basic to advanced.
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Assistance is available to identify and accommodate barriers faced in the home, at work, and in the community. Structural changes are recommended for the home or work environment. Environmental control systems, adaptive devices, and other accommodations are recommended to maximize the individual's ability to live and work independently.