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May 18, 2024

What Is An Assistive Device?

An assistive device is any type of physical equipment or digital tool that improves a person’s functioning when they have a disability. It’s a broad term that covers everything from eyeglasses to speech recognition software, mobility aids like wheelchairs and even specialized clothing. There are hundreds of different types of assistive devices available, from low-tech to high-tech. They can be store bought, like a tablet or smartphone with alternative access features; modified, like placing tennis balls on a walker to make it easier to navigate carpets; or custom made, such as a prosthetic hand that’s crafted using 3D printing.

A person may have a disability due to an illness, injury or natural aging. Disabilities can be debilitating and limit many aspects of daily life. Assistive technology is designed to help people manage their disabilities and live as independently as possible. It’s important for people with disabilities to have access to and use AT because it can enhance their quality of life, increase their ability to participate in educational, social and professional activities and promote independence.

What Is Conductivity?

Conductivity refers to how well a material conducts electricity. The higher the conductivity of a material, the more easily it transmits electrical current. Some of the most conductive materials are silver and gold, which are used in electrical circuits to carry information. Other common conductive materials are copper, brass and bronze, which are found in machinery and appliance wiring systems. However, there are also insulators that are not as effective at conducting electricity, such as wood and plastic.

A material can exhibit both conductive and insulative properties, depending on how it’s processed. For example, some semiconductors (silicon and germanium are two examples) have both conductive and insulative properties. Semiconductors are used in electronic devices to control or regulate current flow, as well as to convert sunlight into electricity.

There are several factors that can affect a conductor’s effectiveness, including the temperature. As temperature increases, the material expands, which changes the geometry of its atoms. This in turn can change the resistance of the material. The temperature of a conductor can also influence the speed at which phonons are generated, which can affect its characteristic resistance.

The number of people who need assistive devices is huge. According to the World Health Organization, over one billion people worldwide need them. The wide variety of products available can be overwhelming, so it’s important to have a team of professionals who are familiar with the different options. This can include a family doctor, regular and special education teachers, physical or occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, rehabilitation engineers and representatives from companies that manufacture AT.

It’s also important that everyone involved has practical knowledge about how a person will interact with their assistive device in their home, school, work and community environments. This includes the types of barriers that might exist and how they can be overcome. This can be accomplished through a comprehensive assessment that involves a medical history, review of current function, discussion of goals and a physical examination.