Welcome to the California Department of Developmental Services
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1600 9th Street
P. O. Box 944202
Sacramento, CA 94244-2020

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TTY: (916) 654-2054

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Assistive Technology

This is a guide to sources of information on Assistive Technology including sources of public and private funding. We welcome your recommendations on making this guide more useful.

Assistive Technology (AT) describes devices used by children and adults with developmental and other disabilities to participate in everyday life experiences. AT can help a person lead a more independent, fulfilling, and enjoyable life. AT devices may be as simple as adapted clothing with Velcro fasteners instead of buttons, or as complex as a computer to assist a person in talking with others. AT services and supports may provide assistance to people in selection, acquisition, usage and maintenance or repair of AT devices.

  • Communication
    Communication devices assist people with disabilities to communicate independently. This type of Assistive Technology (AT) includes the use of a computer or voice board that uses recorded speech to communicate messages.

  • Mobility
    Mobility aids provide the Assistive Technology (AT) user with independence at home and in the community. For example, ramps as an alternative to stairs and barrier free kitchens and bathrooms give individuals the freedom to complete everyday tasks. Transportation vehicles equipped with lifts or other adaptive aids enable individuals with mobility challenges to enjoy a lifestyle of opportunities for employment and leisure activities.

  • Audio - Visual
    People with hearing impairments may benefit from an Assistive Technology (AT) device that amplifies sound through the many types of hearing aids available today. People with visual impairments may benefit from the use of AT devices which convert text on a computer screen to spoken words.

  • Environmental Control and Physical Adaptations
    Assistive Technology (AT) devices can help persons with disabilities have more control over their environment and physical world. For example, specialized switches can be help individuals with range of motion disabilities. An up/down tongue paddle, a sip and puff switch, or an up/down chin switch can be used to open a door, operate a communication board or turn on an oven.
Last Updated: 3/2/2018