Assistive technology, also known as access technology or adaptive technology, is the array of tools used to help people with visual impairments gain access to the world and environment. It can range from low or no tech devices like a simple handheld magnifier, to a highly sophisticated piece of equipment like a BrailleNote Taker or PAC Mate.
To ensure that the right assistive technology is used, an Assistive Technology Assessment is necessary. Not only will this enhance the performance of the intended user in accessing the environment, it will also minimise cost, especially when a piece of expensive equipment bought is deemed unsuitable.
Training in the use of the equipment will also help the user understand and maximise the technology to his/her needs. This can prevent the equipment becoming another piece of “white elephant”, not because it is not suitable, but because the user had not been trained in its use.