Assistive Technology (AT) is the umbrella term that covers any piece of equipment, device, or software application that can be used to enhance someone’s ability to perform their day-to-day functions, whether that be walking, reading, or communicating.
The term applies to the elderly as well as persons with disabilities.
Assistive technology devices can be as complex as a software application that translates a person’s eye movement into speech or as simple as a pencil grip to help a young student hold their pencil.
Assistive Technology vs Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is a specific branch of Assistive Technology (AT), focusing on communication.
AAC tools can then be broken down further. You may need different tools and techniques for persons who are verbal versus those who are nonverbal. Different situations and disabilities require different techniques and devices.
Since communication and verbal speech is so important for a person to develop skills, AAC services are often provided to children and young adults, to maximize their success later in life. A Speech Language Pathologist is often called in to asses the child or student’s situation and recommend either an AAC device or AAC techniques that can be used to improve that child’s life.
How Does The Nika Project Support AAC?
The Nika Project gathers assistive technology devices, either high tech or low tech, through donations from the community.
In the case of high tech devices, such as mobile iPads, iPhones, Android devices, etc., we wipe them completely, and then refurbish them with known AAC applications.
Once they’re ready, we distribute them to schools in need of AAC services, both locally and globally, and empower the teachers to enhance the communication and education for their students.
If you would like to donate your used low tech or mobile devices, please check out our Donate Assistive Technology form.