Bismarck IPAT CenterWith all of the new, exciting gadgets being developed every day, in this fast-paced “technoworld,” it is so easy to jump and purchase before you really know if you need it or if it will be useful in your life. If you took a second to think about what you really needed and wanted before you went to the store and became enamored with the latest high-tech smart gadget (I do speak from experience here!) or high-powered sales pitch, you may actually end up making a “smarter” decision.

When it comes to choosing the right assistive technology (AT), the same principles apply.  When equipment is purchased in a, “cart before the horse” manner, the person may end up, not only, with equipment that doesn’t benefit them, but they may also have depleted their funding sources and destroyed their very will to ever try any other AT again.

Identifying someone’s needs and capabilities prior to matching AT solutions can prevent inappropriate choices, wasted dollars, and eventual equipment abandonment. IPAT developed a Nine Step AT Assessment Process, located here, that will help the people in need of AT and their team of professionals and family members make better AT decisions and appropriate equipment choices.  Remember , “Technology itself is not the goal….. the individual’s participation in their chosen activities is the goal”.

About Author

Jeannie Krull is the Program Manager for ND Assistive (formerly IPAT). She is an ASHA certified speech/language pathologist and a RESNA certified Assistive Technology Professional, who has worked with people with disabilities of all ages since 1991.