Assistive Technology Program Overview

What is Assistive Technology?

Assistive Technology (AT) includes both devices and services.

  • An assistive technology device is any item that directly assists an individual with a disability to increase, maintain, or improve their capabilities.

  • An assistive technology service is any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.


How Can Assistive Technology Help You?

Every day people wake up, get ready for the day and go to work, school or appointments. What if you couldn't hear the alarm when it goes off? How will you get to work on time if you cannot see the clock? How will you get ready if you cannot pull on your pants? For people with disabilities, assistive technology allows them to live independently and be part of the community. AT allows individuals with disabilities to hear a talking clock when they can't see it, feel the vibration of an alarm instead of hear it, get dressed with the use of a dressing stick.


California's Assistive Technology Program

The Assistive Technology Act (AT Act) of 1998, as amended in 2004, funds each state and U.S. territory to provide AT services. In California the program is the Assistive Technology (AT) unit, which is housed within the DOR and is funded by a federal grant through the Administration for Community Living (ACL). To implement the required services, DOR contracts with the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) to provide AT services statewide to assist individuals with disabilities to live independently and participate in the community.


California has agreed to provide the following AT core services:

  • Coordination and Collaboration - among state departments and other community organizations to increase public awareness activities to improve access to assistive technology devices and services for individuals with disabilities of all age.

  • Public Awareness outreach to the general public to increase awareness about the role that AT can play in their lives.

  • Technical Assistance and Training provided to individuals, agencies and organizations to learn more about how AT can benefit individuals with disabilities.

  • Transition a focus on how AT plays an important role for youth with disabilities transitioning from school and for individuals transitioning from institutions to community living.

  • Device Loans low-tech to high-tech AT devices are available for short-term loan up to 30 days.

  • Device Reutilization equipment can be donated to a reuse organization so it may be given to an individual with a disability or an individual can post an ad to sell AT equipment.

  • Low-interest Loan Guarantee Program this is a low-interest guaranteed loan available to individuals with disabilities or parents of children with disabilities to purchase needed AT.


Ability Tools:

Ability Tools offers a variety of trainings each month. For a calendar of upcoming trainings, self-paced trainings and recorded trainings, please visit the Ability Tools Website.


Assistive Technology State Plans