What is Assistive Technology?
Assistive technology can be labeled as any item that can be used to improve one’s quality of life through improving the functional capabilities of the individual one way or another.
As the years go by, we see more and more of these devices become available to the public. These assistive devices can include any from handheld magnifiers, canes, walkers, all the way to electronic organizers, amplifiers, and environmental control units.
Low Tech Assistive Units
The usual characteristics that separate low tech assistive units from high tech units is the amount of complication that is involved when it comes to actually operating the device.
Low tech devices do not require much training and are usually much less expensive than their high tech counterpart. They usually aren’t very complex either so the skill level required operate is kept at a minimum.
High Tech Assistive Devices
High tech is usually categorized by the amount of training required before usage. Obviously some devices will be easier than others to use, but there is usually a significant difference between high tech devices and low tech devices.
A good example of the differences would be a manual wheelchair versus an power wheelchair. A power wheelchair can have a vast amount of electrical components associated with it that may require additional expertise.
There is also a significant price difference between low tech and high tech assistive devices. As you’d expect, high tech assistive devices are usually much more expensive than their low tech counterparts.
This is mostly due to the vast amount of circuitry and design that goes into this kind of equipment. A general rule of thumb, the more complex the device is, IE: digital/electronic components, the more it is going to cost since it probably took a lot of thought out engineering to construct it in the first place.
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