Institute on Disabilities at Temple University


Assistive Technology Companion Guide to the Transition Health Care Check List: Health Care Skills Needed for Independence

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Assistive Technology Companion Guide—Word file (292KB)

What is Assistive Technology? (AT)

Assistive technology (AT) means any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. AT includes DEVICES such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, and reachersAssistive technology also includes the SERVICES you need to find and use the devices, including evaluation, customization, maintenance and repair, and training for you and the people who support you.

Assistive technology devices can help you with activities related to work, school, and community living. Examples of AT devices include:

  • For work or school: Devices or software that enlarge and/or read print
  • For work or school: Keyboards with large keys and hands free "mice"
  • For community living (recreation): Special gloves and handles that allow you to participate in hunting, fishing, gardening, and other activities
  • For community living: Changes to your home or vehicle so you can get around

What are the Resources for Learning About and Getting Assistive Technology?

Assistive technology may have been provided to you from your school

  • As you prepare to transition, you will need to know who owns the AT and whether or not you can take it with you
  • As you plan for transition, think about other AT you don't have now. Some insurances may pay for AT while you are still in school While you are still in school, your IEP team can help you identify the devices and you will need and help you to learn to use to use them.
  • Your school district may have staff who is knowledgeable about AT.
  • Your Intermediate Unit has at least one Assistive Technology Consultant
  • If you need AT for employment, contact your OVR counselor and consider including AT in your Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). At any age, Pennsylvania's Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT) can help you learn about, borrow, and try AT devices that might be helpful to you in education (including post-secondary education), employment, and/or community participation and independent living

What Programs Are Available Through PIAT?

PIAT's programs are free and available throughout Pennsylvania

  • Information and referral: Call 800-204-7428 (voice) or 866-268-0579 (TTY) or contact PIAT's can also work with you to identify vendors and service providers, locate used equipment, and learn about funding
  • Device demonstrations and loans: Call 800-204-7428 (voice) or 866-268-0579 (TTY) or contact or Our staff can assist you in making a decision about the AT that is right for you, through device demonstrations and equipment loans.
  • Recycled Equipment: PIAT can help you locate resources for "previously owned" devices that are available either free or at a lower cost than buying new. The programs include "classifieds" such as PIAT's Recycled and Exchanged Equipment Partnership Online Classifieds ("REEP Classifieds") as well as "recycling" programs across the state that accept donated equipment, clean it and/or repair it, and provide it to a person with a disability in need of the device. Call 800-204-7428 (voice) or 866-268-0579 (TTY) or contact
  • Free Adapted Telecommunication Devices: Call 800-204-7428 (voice) or 866-268-0579 (TTY) or contact to learn more about Pennsylvania's Telecommunication Device Distribution Program. This program offers certain telephones and related assistive technologies at no cost, to eligible Pennsylvanians with disabilities age 6 or older.

Back: Transition Health Care Check List Introduction

Download the entire document as a text file:
Assistive Technology Companion Guide—Word file (292KB)

Institute on Disabilities at Temple University
University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service