What is Assistive Technology?

Assistive technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system

that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with


  • AT can be low-tech: communication boards made of cardboard or fuzzy felt.
  • AT can be high-tech: special-purpose computers.
  • AT can be hardware: prosthetics, mounting systems, and positioning devices.
  • AT can be computer hardware: special switches, keyboards, and pointing devices.
  • AT can be computer software: screen readers and communication programs.
  • AT can be inclusive or specialized learning materials and curriculum aids. AT can be specialized curricular software.
  • AT can be much more—electronic devices, wheelchairs, walkers, braces, educational software, power lifts, pencil holders, eye-gaze and head trackers, and much more.

Assistive technology helps people who have difficulty speaking, typing, writing, remembering, pointing, seeing, hearing, learning, walking, and many other things. Different disabilities require different assistive technologies

Where should I get started?

You can start by checking out these resources: 

  • – A site run by a computer engineer and dedicated to advancing the AT Maker movement with the inclusion of high school robotic and STEM teams. 
  • – A website dedicated to adapting toys and making switches for individuals with disabilities. 
  • – A website with resources on running a toy adaptation toy drive as well as guides for adapting specific toys.