Training

One of the greatest misunderstandings of the entire field of assistive devices and technologies is that they are merely products, with no training or servicing necessary to make these devices functional and effective for the individual user. This could not be farther from the truth. For instance, an augmentative communication device requires extensive training to fully utilize its functions and master the ability to speak with the use of a keypad. Similarly, hearing aids and vision technologies require training and servicing to ensure they are effective for the user and not rejected in frustration. New prosthetic limb or orthotic brace users require gait training by therapists and ongoing clinical services from prosthetists and orthotists to ensure proper fit and function. Most power wheelchairs require training by qualified personnel and rapid servicing to prevent the need for a wheelchair repair from interfering with the daily activities of the user.

Example:

  • Training for Use of Assistive Technologies for Individuals with Visual Impairments. Individuals who are blind or severely visually impaired require a functional evaluation of the impact of the appropriate assistive technology. Such an evaluation can review, for example, the effect of closer working distances for remaining vision or proper orientation to customary environments when there is no remaining functional vision. Beyond the functional evaluation, training services usually include but are not limited to selecting the proper aid, coordination of necessary therapy, and training and technical assistance for the individual in the proper use and maintenance of the device.