What is assistive technology?

ByAndrew M.I. Lee, JD

At a glance

  • Assistive technology can help people who learn and think differently work around their challenges.

  • One example is an app that reads text aloud.

  • Assistive technology can empower people to do things for themselves.

People who learn and think differently can use technology tools to work around their challenges. These tools are called assistive technology (AT).

AT is any device, software, or equipment that helps people with learn, communicate, or function better. AT can be as high-tech as a computer. Or as low-tech as a walking stick.

Here are more examples of AT:

  • A wheelchair
  • An app that reads text aloud
  • A keyboard for typing

Students who struggle with learning can use AT to help with subjects like reading, writing, and math. AT can also help kids and adults with the tasks of daily life. And many workers use these tools on the job.

Using AT can help people become more confident and independent. That’s because AT empowers people to do things for themselves.

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About the author

About the author

Andrew M.I. Lee, JD is an editor and attorney who strives to help people understand complex legal, education, and parenting issues.

Reviewed by

Reviewed by

Jamie Martin is an assistive technology specialist at the New England Assistive Technology Center (NEAT) in Hartford, Connecticut.