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Discuss the role of assistive technology in supporting individuals to communicate

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: Although this page has been marked as complete, it has not yet been peer-reviewed or quality-assured, therefore it should be considered a ‘first draft‘ and any information contained herein should be fact-checked independently.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines assistive technology as systems, products and services that “maintain or improve an individual’s functioning and independence, thereby promoting their well-being“. For this assessment criterion, we will be exploring the role of assistive technology in supporting individuals to communicate.

Assistive technology used for communication can include hearing aids, picture boards, text-to-speech/speech-to-text software and talking clocks. Skills for Care have put together a very comprehensive list of assistive technologies that you may find useful to read through.

The use of assistive technologies makes individuals less reliant on others when they are communicating. This means they have more independence, are empowered and are able to communicate in a more dignified way.

Using technology to overcome communication barriers contributes to an individual’s well-being because it allows them to communicate independently, which can positively affect their confidence and self-esteem as well as allowing them to actively participate in relationships or activities that may have otherwise been difficult.

Assistive technologies can also promote equality legislation and policy because they support the provision of fair and equitable opportunities.