Adaptive equipment

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Adaptive equipment are devices that are used to assist with completing activities of daily living.

Bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, and feeding are self-care activities that are including in the spectrum of activities of daily living (ADLs). Jennifer McLaughlin Maly a P.T./ D.P.T. in her article located in the journal Exceptional Parent gives a more complete definition of adaptive equipment: "Typically, a piece of adaptive equipment is utilized to increase a child's function. Examples of adaptive equipment or assistive technology are wheelchairs, lifts, standing frames, gait trainers, augmentative communication devices, bath chairs, and recreational items such as swings or tricycles."[1]

A growing market for adaptive equipment is in the use of mobility vans. In this case, adaptive equipment, also known as assistive technology, can help a person with a disability operate a motor vehicle when otherwise they would not be able to.

Mobility assistance[edit]

Mobility adaptive equipment are used in cases where a disease or accident leaves an individual's motor functions hindered or unusable. if an individual suffers from restricted motor functions, there are Equipment and technology that can assist in regaining some or all mobility.

Types of Mobility Adaptive Equipment[2][edit]


A manual or motorized wheelchair is a chair with attached wheels that allow a person who can not walk, due to illness, injury, or disability, to move around.[3]


Crutches are devices used to transfer the bodies load from the lower body to the upper body. Crutches are used when a person lower body is not completely immobilized but impaired.

Prosthetic devices[edit]

Prosthetic devices are artificial devices used to replace a missing body part caused from either an illness, accident, or a birth defect.[4]

Orthotic devices[edit]

Orthotic devices, or orthoses, are devices used to align, brace, or correct deformities. Orthoses also help to improve the movement of ones joints, spine, or limbs.[5]

Sensory assistance[edit]

Sensory/Neurological adaptive equipment are used in cases where an individual lacks proper stimulation of a sense. For instance, individuals who are either blind, mute, deaf, or a combination of them.

Types of Sensory Adaptive Equipment[edit]

Hearing aids[edit]

Hearing aids are devices used by partially deaf individual to regain a portion of hearing by amplifying sound.[6]


Braille is a system a raised bumps that allow blind individuals to read text with their fingers. Braille is a code of language and not a language in itself.[7]

Assistive listening devices (ADL)[edit]

Assistive listening devices (ADL) are devices used to amplify sounds an individual wants to hear, especially in areas with lots of back ground noise. ADLs can be used with hearing aids and cochlear implants to improve the individuals hearing.[8]

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices[edit]

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices are used to help individuals with communication disorder to express themselves to others. The devices can carry from picture boards to computer assisted speech.[8]

Alerting devices[edit]

Alerting Devices are assistive device that connect with door bells, telephones, and other alarming device. These devices add a specific alarm based on one's disability. For instance, a deaf individual can have a door bell that blinks a light instead of a noise to indicate someone is at the door.[8]


  1. ^ McLaughlin Maly, J. (2007). My child needs a piece of adaptive equipment: Now what? Well it depends! The Exceptional Parent, 11(37), 46-47
  2. ^ "What are some types of assistive devices & how are they used?". Retrieved 2015-10-22.
  3. ^ "wheelchair: definition of wheelchair in Oxford dictionary (American English) (US)". Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  4. ^ "What are Prosthetic Devices? (with pictures)". wiseGEEK. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  5. ^ "What are Orthotic Devices? (with pictures)". wiseGEEK. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  6. ^ "hearing aid: definition of hearing aid in Oxford dictionary (American English) (US)". Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  7. ^ "What Is Braille? - American Foundation for the Blind". Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  8. ^ a b c "Assistive Devices for People with Hearing, Voice, Speech, or Language Disorders". Retrieved 2015-11-04.