Assistive Technology, Rehabilitation Engineering, and Why Do You Need Them?
For most of us technology makes things easier. For people with disabilities,
technology makes things possible. That's what assistive technology is all about
- utilizing a device, product, or system to increase the functional
capabilities of someone with a disability. Assistive technology is commonly
used to improve mobility, written and verbal communication, hearing, vision,
independent living, educational access, and tasks associated with employment,
among many others.
Over the last 20 years assistive technology has become more commercially
available. When assistive technology is not enough - contact a Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation, or Rehab Engineer uses theories of math, science, amd
engineering to design, develop, adapt, apply, and evaluate solutions to barrier
met by people with disabilities. Rehab Engineers utilize off-the-shelf
assistive technology, put assistive technology togther in unique ways, modify
technology, or develop technology to meet the needs of people with
Where do I find a Rehab Engineer?
The best place to find a Rehab Engineer is to start with the RESNA website.
Their website contains a Directory of Certified Rehabilitation Engineering
Technologists (RETs) and Assistive Technology Practitioners (ATPs). You might
also approach your local university or rehabilitation hospital to determine if
there are any Rehab Engineering type resources. Also, some state vocation
rehabilitation departments or disability specific organizations employ Rehab
Even if you don't need a custom solution, Rehab Engineers can be handy
resources since they do their best to stay up to date on new offerings in
assistive technology across a wide variety of areas.
Old RESNA homepage
New RESNA homepage