Technology has advanced a lot in the last 100 years, especially in the medical field. But it’s not all about finding cures and treatments. Some advancements simply help people live better, fuller lives with the conditions that they suffer from.
One example is assistive technology. If you suffer an injury that leads to a disability, or if you are disabled by a disease or disorder, there may be many different types of technology that can help you move forward with your life — even when it’s clear that the disability is something you’ll have to live with forever.
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an assistive technology helps to give people “functional independence” and allows them to “fully engage in life.” It can be used to help them:
- Communicate with other people
- Participate in recreational activities
- Have a social life
These devices can be both high-tech and low-tech. For instance, magnifying glasses can be used as an assistive technology, and you could argue that all forms of prescription eyeglasses fall into this category. In other cases, those with more severe disabilities may work with computer programs that allow them to speak and communicate. Some of the most common examples of assistive tech are scooters, walkers and wheelchairs. Disabilities often impact motor skills, but these devices can allow for some level of mobility even after an injury.
Of course, assistive technologies can be expensive, and you may face a lot of additional costs if you’re disabled. Make sure that you understand all of the rights you have and what benefits you can use.