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Assistive Technology

Assistive technology (AT) is a generic term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities.

Assistive technology for people with intellectual disabilities can assist the person with communication, with activities of daily living such as dressing or cooking, with safety, and with mobility.

Communication boards are boards or pages in a book that have pictures and words that a person can point to in order to express themselves. Some people may have extensive books with many options, and others may have much smaller books. Be aware that not all books will have a way for a person to communicate that they have experienced domestic or sexual violence. For some people who use communication boards, non-verbal communication is a large part of their communication.

"Using a Communicator"

Communicators are computers that allow a person to communicate audibly by pointing to particular images, or typing in a message. The computer then “speaks” the word, phrase, or sentence aloud. Communicators are often used by someone who has difficulty with verbal expression. A person can generally program in common sentences for later recall. Some communicators will also allow the person to program an entire discussion into the computer for later recall.

Some people with a communication disability may use a “speech to speech” relay service to facilitate communication.  If you are having difficulty understanding a person, you can ask them if they would be comfortable using this service.

Other Aids: People with intellectual disabilities may use other aids, such as color coded organizers and books. This color coded cookbook and measuring set found at this link are a good example:,11521,11536&discontinued=0