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 Engineer.

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 disabilities.

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 Engineers.

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.


Professional Organization

Old RESNA homepage

New RESNA homepage