Assistive Technology: Self Care and Environment Products

Welcome to Assistive Technology in Rehabilitation Content Development Project. Please do not edit unless you are involved in this project, but please come back in the near future to check out new information!! If you would like to get involved in this project and earn accreditation for your contributions, please get in touch!

Original Editors - Lucinda hampton

Top Contributors - Lucinda hampton, Naomi O'Reilly and Kim Jackson      

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Stephen Hawkings.png

Steven Hawking was a valuable role model for technological solutions for those with disabilities. With his recognizable wheelchair and computer-generated voice, he demonstrated the value of technological solutions eg. liberating the voice of those with physical and communication disabilities.

So-called assistive technologies provide a means for people to move from place to place, to eat independently, to see and hear what they can’t otherwise perceive. They include basic things like wheelchairs to help people move around, magnifiers that increase the size of text or images to make them easier to see, even nonelectronic items like large-handled kitchen utensils that are easier to hold; assistive technologies range from the seemingly simple all the way to speech-generating devices (SGD) that provide a physical voice to those who don’t have one. The use of assistive technologies in our everyday world diminishes the differences between people with different abilities.[1]

Defining Self Care[edit | edit source]

Assistive Technology.jpeg

Self-Care is what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, and to prevent and deal with illness. It is a broad concept encompassing hygiene (general and personal), nutrition (type and quality of food eaten), lifestyle (sporting activities, leisure etc), environmental factors (living conditions, social habits, etc.) socio-economic factors (income level, cultural beliefs, etc.) and self-medication.[2]

  • Self-care is the fundamental level of health care in all societies and should be seen as a major public health resource.
  • Self-care is often unrecognised and underappreciated.

Examples[edit | edit source]

Basic and Instrumental ADL's.png

Self Care and Environment Products adapt the environment, rather than the person, to support identified needs, choice, and control. These assistive devices may compensate for impairments and functional limitations and enable a quicker, safer, or more-efficient performance of everyday activities. Products may address vision, hearing, fine and gross motor, sensory, cognitive, communication, safety, and learning.[3]

Home adaptation, using these devices, is a complex procedure whose implementation involves the execution of multiple actions

  • Detection of individual needs
  • Contact with several specialised professional profiles
  • Visits to orthopaedics or companies in the sector
  • Selection of the right device
  • Search for financing options
  • Purchase and installation of the selected assistive products[6]

Cost Barriers[edit | edit source]

Money Bag.png

Despite the growing need, one of the primary barriers to obtaining needed or wanted self care and environmental products is cost; ie a large number of people with disabilities cannot afford them and get no reimbursement for them through existing funding systems. Eg tub benches have been found to support function and safety, they are typically not funded through third-party reimbursement systems, as they are considered “optional” and do not qualify as durable medical equipment. In response, a number of initiatives have occurred to increase access. Eg In the United States, a national network of alternative financing programs offers a consumer-directed program and range of alternative financing strategies to increase access to funding for these products and other technologies; Canada and Sweden, have implemented delivery systems that offer more-extensive access to these products as part of integrated community living plans[3].

References [edit | edit source]

  1. The Conversation Stephen Hawking as accidental ambassador for assistive technologies Available: (accessed 17.6.2021)
  2. ISF What is self care Available: (accessed 10.7.2021)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Britannica AIDS for ADL Available: (accessed 10.7.2021)
  4. NIH Assistive Devices Available: (accessed 10.7.2021)
  5. Ability action.Assistive Technology available: (accessed 10.7.2021)
  6. Plos one Exploring the use of assistive products to promote functional independence in self-care activities in the bathroom Available: ( accessed 10.7.2021)