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What is Assistive Technology?

Assistive technology is an umbrella term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities and also includes the process used in selecting, locating, and using them. Assistive technology promotes greater independence by enabling people to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing, by providing enhancements to, or changing methods of interacting with, the technology needed to accomplish such tasks.

Some types of Assistive Technology Devices include:

Alarm Clocks – Alarm Clocks for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing are designed to wake up all types of sleepers. Standard alarm clocks are not very effective at waking deep sleepers, or people with a hearing loss, especially those who are severely hard of hearing or deaf. Assistive alarm clocks include a combination of features, such as extra loud alarms, bed shakers, and lamp flashers, that are sure to wake up even the deepest of sleepers.

Amplified Telephones – This type of assistive technology allows users to amplify the volume and clarity of their phone calls so that they can hear conversation louder and clearer. They have the ability to adjust the volume and tone of a call to suit their individual hearing needs. There is a wide variety of amplified telephones to choose from. “Corded” or “Cordless” telephones with different degrees of amplification for people with low, moderate or severe hearing loss. 

Loud Telephone Ringers – Loud Telephone Ringers amplify the sound of your telephone, so you never miss another call. The amplification, (up to 95dB) and ring pitch can be adjusted to your personal needs. Most also come with a visual strobe light, which will flash indicating that there is a call coming in.

Personal Sound Amplifiers – Personal amplifiers, or personal listening devices assist people who are hard-of-hearing by amplifying sounds closest to them while reducing background noise. Ideal for one-on-one conversation, small-group, church, television listening, or conversing in the car.  Use with or without hearing aids.  Simply plug in your earphone or headset, position the microphone near the preferred sound, adjust the volume and tone to your comfort, and begin to hear conversations and sounds loud and clear.

Personal Assistance Systems – Personal Assistance Systems or Medical Alarms are a simple push-button device worn around the neck. A telephone console connects to the existing phone line. They call for help by signaling a base station connected to a home phone line. Today’s systems are still wearable, but not all systems have to run through a call center operator. Our systems allow you to exclude the middle person and contact someone directly by pushing pre-programmed phone number contacts. These systems offer two-way voice communication with the person who answers the emergency call, without contracts or monthly monitoring fees. Most pendants can be worn around the wrist or neck, and are water resistant.

Photo Phones – Photo or picture phones allow you to place photographs or family members or friends onto the phone and each photo will coincide with that person’s phone number. They can call a certain person by simply pressing on their photo. Dial by photo is ideal for people with cognitive disorders, memory or vision loss. Most photo phones also have a built-in emergency button. They also have large buttons, incoming voice amplification and tone adjustment to make calls louder and clearer.

Speech Amplification Telephones – Speech Amplification Technology makes even the weakest outgoing voice sharp, clear and easily audible. A new standard in “Speech Amplified Telephone Technology”. They allow the listener to better hear and understand the individual who has called them. Some phones provide outgoing voice amplification up to 40dB.

TV Listening – TV listening devices such as “TV Ears” are useful for people who are hard-of-hearing by allowing them to listen to the TV or other devices at a desired volume, without disturbing others. They come in headphones together with a charging base that can be plugged into the TV. They send a wireless RF signal from the TV to the headset. Some can also be used for Laptops, Audio, MP3 players and iPods.

TTY – TTY stands for Text Telephone. It can also be called a TDD, or Telecommunication Device for the Deaf. TTY is the more widely used term, however, TTY’s are used by many people, not just the deaf. A TTY is a special device that allows people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired to use the telephone to communicate by letting them type messages back and forth to one another instead of talking and listening. A TTY device is required at both ends of the conversation in order to communicate.


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