Assistive Technology

The Office for the Blind (OFB) Assistive Technology Services support individuals who are blind and visually impaired in the selection, training and use of adaptive devices. Assistive or adaptive tTechnology commonly refers to products, devices or equipment, whether acquired commercially, modified or customized, that are used to maintain, increase or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

OFB provides services that allow a person with a disability to be employed and to increase his or her independent living capabilities. Assistive technology specialists are knowledgeable about the various types of assistive and adaptive technology or low vision products that can assist an individual in reaching his or her goals.

Recommendations for accommodations are made based on an initial assessment or a comprehensive education or employment site evaluation. In employment settings, specialists determine if modifications are necessary for an individual to perform the duties of his or her position. Specialists identify the technology that best fits the needs of the individual in their homes, schools and at work. Devices range from low-tech devices such as Braille watches or magnifiers to high-tech devices such as large print computer screens or computer systems with speech output. Service components include:

  • an assessment of the needs of the individual and may include a functional evaluation of the individual in a home, work or educational environment;

  • purchasing, leasing or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices;

  • use and maintenance of assistive technology devices; and

  • training or technical assistance for professionals to employ, or improve the major life functions of an individual.

Technology has a direct impact on the lives of all individuals, but for individuals who are blind or visually impaired, the effect is life changing. OFB believes in providing individuals with the tools and devices and instruction needed in order for them to achieve their independent living, educational and vocational goals.