Assistive Devices: How They Work and Are Used

Living with a disability is so much more than the disability itself. At first, it’s all about how you’re unable to perform simple functions that you should be able to do easily. But even though you start to get used to living with a disability, you always feel as if something was taken from you. You feel more self-conscious than those around you, fearing what other people think of you or, even worse, what they might be saying behind your back. It can feel like there’s nothing you can do, but you should never give up hope. You’re a warrior fighting unfair circumstances, and despite the fact that assistive devices may not give you back everything you’ve lost, using them can give you more control over your life. 

How Assistive Devices Work

Depending on the disability, different users will require customized tools to fit their needs. So before getting to use an assistive device, a team of experts helps you in making this decision. This team is made up of certified professionals: each with their specific area of expertise. Doctors make the diagnosis; nurses help in documenting your case and needs, and an Assistive Technology Professional recommends the best device for you to use. In order to understand how these professionals are able to do that, this blog post explains in detail the process they go through to become certified to attend to your needs. The basic educational requirements are not enough for them; they have to have more specialized and practical experience as well. 

Types of Assistive Devices

After identifying your needs, these professionals will set you up with the most suitable devices to aid you in your life. They can set you up with any of the following devices:

1. Mobility Aids

Mobility aids have been around for a while, but technology has given rise to much more efficient and practical options. These include wheelchairs, prosthetics, scooters, and other gross mobility devices. However, these also include devices that aid in fine and accurate movements, such as holding a pencil, eating, grooming, cooking, and more. 

2. Hearing Aids

Those who have hearing difficulties and even those who don’t can benefit from hearing aid devices to wear over their ears. Technology has also made it possible to take them into consideration in different settings, such as using closed-captions in movies, shows, and social media platforms. 

3. Writing Aids

In addition to mobility aids that allow for fine and controlled movement, speech-to-text recognition has made it possible for anyone to write using their verbal words. 

4. Sight Aids

On the other hand, screen readers, enlargement applications, and audio description technology enable those who have sight difficulties to get a better view of what’s in front of them on the screens. 

5. Physical Modifications

Aside from the devices, various modifications have been implemented in the physical space to aid those with disabilities. This can be seen in wide doorways, ramps, and grab bars. 

6. Educational Aids

There are various educational aids to enable those suffering from mental conditions to get the level of education they need. These tools organize information and modify the way it’s conveyed to the users. For example, cognitive aids help students with memory loss or attention deficiency in their studies. 

7. Technological Aids

While most of the previous examples were based on technology, the real scale of how technological applications to aid people living with different disabilities is much larger. Disabled individuals can perform sports and physical activities or even drive self-driving cars. Home automation tools and programs make it possible for them to be independent and live on their own. 

Who Uses Assistive Devices

Generally speaking, anyone who needs additional assistance can benefit from these devices; whether it’s a child who was born with a missing limb, a child who suffers from ADHD; a senior whose health is deteriorating and needs visual or hearing aids; a senior suffering from dementia or physical disability living in an assisting living facility or a nursing home; or even an individual who has suffered severe trauma that affected his/her quality of living. 

Precautions To Take 

It’s important to understand that at the end of the day, assistive devices are still pieces of equipment that can malfunction or get used up. Before using a device, make sure you understand how it works and its maintenance requirements. The best thing to do is to consult with an expert before deciding to use one, especially if it’s complicated. 

Assistive devices help people living with disabilities all over the world get a better quality of life. They will be assisted in daily tasks that may seem simple but which actually aren’t that easy to perform. After getting an expert’s opinion, people can find the best devices to help them live a more normal and independent life.