Assistive Technology

Photo of Alternative Keyboard

Photo of Alternative Keyboard

What is Assistive Technology?

Assistive technology (or “AT”) is a way to make use of your abilities to make more things possible. AT helps maintain or improve the ability of a person with disabilities to be a full participant in everyday life. AT devices can be as simple as a built-up handle on a pencil or as complex as custom computer hardware and software. AT services include helping to determine which techniques or devices are necessary, training and support to ensure the proper use of recommended equipment and methods, and integrating them into your home, classroom, or job.

Who needs Assistive Technology?

Anybody who has short- or long-term goals that they cannot meet due to a physical or cognitive disability can benefit from AT. AT can help you turn on lights, control the TV, operate your computer using just your voice or a single switch, or type faster using only one hand. Reasons you might need AT include:

  • ALS
  • Arthritis
  • Carpal tunnel or other upper extremity injuries
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Cognitive or learning disabilities
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Visual or hearing impairments

AT Services at the Ann Arbor CIL

Our rehabilitation engineer can provide complete evaluation, recommendation, training and support, ordering and installation services for all types of needs. Evaluations can be done at our facility or on-site in your home, school, or work. Areas of expertise include:

  • Computer access  Access to a computer for work, school, entertainment, home management, and other tasks is becoming more important every day. Alternative input and output methods can increase typing speed, help reduce errors, or provide access for people who cant use a standard keyboard or mouse.
  • Environmental control  The ability to independently turn lights on and off, control the TV and VCR, open doors, make and answer phone calls, and perform other daily living activities is important for safety and independence. We can recommend equipment that will help in some or all of these areas.
  • Work site modifications  Redesigning work areas and methods or using modified tools and equipment may allow a person to return to work or access new employment opportunities. We can help restructure activities and locate or design the specialized tools you need.

About our Rehabilitation Engineer

Glen Ashlock is a highly accomplished rehabilitation engineer and provides high quality AT services for clients throughout Southeast Michigan.  Glen started the Assistive Technology Center at the Ann Arbor CIL in November of 1998 after providing clinical assistive technology services at the University of Michigan Rehabilitation Engineering Program for over seven years.

Glen earned an MS in Bioengineering from the University of Michigan and completed a two-year clinical internship at the University of Michigan Rehabilitation Engineering Program (UMREP) in 1991.  He received a BS in Engineering Mechanics with minors in Mathematics and Design from Michigan State University in 1984.  Mr. Ashlock was certified as an Assistive Technology Practitioner in 1997 by the Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America (RESNA) Professional Standards Board.  He is a member of the RESNA educational program faculty and has taught AT courses across the US and Canada.

For More Information

For more information, contact our Rehab Engineer, Glen Ashlock.

Assistive Technology News

My Access to Assistive Technology

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