When an individual comes in for a demonstration, they receive a hands-on exploration of the type of devices available to meet their needs. Demonstrations provide an opportunity for people with disabilities and their caregivers to see, learn about, and sometimes try out the latest in AT. Trial use of a device often provides valuable feedback. Demonstrations may offer enough information for a person to make an AT selection, as long as the equipment/device does not require customization or personalized instruction. At the end of the demonstration meeting specific recommendations on what they should use are not provided as that requires a more in depth process called an AT assessment.
During an assessment, the AT specialist will meet with the client to discuss their individual needs, take that information to then assess the most appropriate AT through a process called “feature matching.” The specialist will determine which devices and features best match the client’s specific needs. A poor match between technology and user more often than not leads to abandonment of the technology, and thus loss of the desired outcome. Considerations such as interoperability with other workplace technologies, environmental situations such as lighting, and specific tasks that the AT would be used for are part of an assessment. Each of these considerations are critical to ensure appropriate feature matching to the individual’s needs. Assessments provide recommendations with justification for clients, agencies, and employers.
ATLA has programs that will cover the assessment fee. Learn more.