The World Health Organisation has a universal definition of assistive technology .

Assistive technology is equipment or devices that help you do things you can’t do because of your disability.

Assistive technology may also help you do something more easily or safely.

Assistive technology will reduce your need for other supports over time.

This could be small things like non-slip mats, or special knives and forks.

It could be big things like wheelchairs and powered adjustable beds.

It also could be technology like an app to help you speak to other people if you have a speech impairment.

Not all equipment or technology you use is assistive technology.

Many people use some equipment as part of their lives, for example, a radio to listen to music, or a standard microwave oven to cook food.

Assistive technology is only the equipment you need because it helps you do things that you normally can’t do because of your disability.

It includes items that:

  • mean you need less help from others
  • help you do things more safely or easily
  • help you to keep doing the things you need to do
  • allow you to do tasks independently
  • are personalised for you.

We don’t include:

  • home equipment that everyone uses, that isn’t related to your disability, like a standard kettle
  • items for treatment or rehabilitation
  • changes to public spaces, like a footpath
  • changes to public vehicles, such as buses or taxis
  • assessment or therapy tools used by therapists.

This page has information on how we make decisions. For general information on assistive technology, check out assistive technology explained .

This page current as of
28 February 2022
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