We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What are Assistive Devices?

Mary McMahon
Updated: May 17, 2024

Assistive devices are devices which are intended to allow people with disabilities to perform tasks independently and to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. Such devices can range from wheelchairs for people who cannot walk or who have difficulty walking to screen readers used to allow blind people to access content on a computer. Such devices are readily available from a wide range of manufacturers and suppliers, and people can also receive training in how to use them.

Many people think of mobility aids such as wheelchairs, walkers, and canes when they hear “assistive devices.” Assistive devices can also include things like prosthetics which are designed to restore function to someone who has lost a limb, along with devices such as hearing aids and Cochlear implants to help people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Assistive devices can also include a wide variety of products to help people navigate the kitchen and bathroom including grooming aids, specially designed kitchen tools, and eating and drinking aids.

Assistive technology devices help people access technology when they might not otherwise be able to. This include things like screen readers, magnification software, voice command software, and extra-large keyboards, along with software which helps people navigate their computers or use the Internet. Assistive technology can also include devices which help people communicate if they have difficulty speaking, and devices which are intended to facilitate communication with people who are developmentally disabled. With improvements in the field of technology, numerous examples of assistive technology are constantly emerging.

The goal of assistive devices is to empower people with disabilities so that they can engage in tasks they would like to perform without needing to ask someone for help. Without an assistive device, someone might have trouble doing something, whether it's opening a jar of pasta sauce or talking with a friend over the phone. Assistive devices promote independence by creating solutions which allow people to do things without having to rely on someone else.

In many regions of the world, assistive devices are available for free or at reduced cost to help people with disabilities access tools they might want to navigate the world. The use of such devices is also protected under the law in many areas of the world, with anti-discrimination laws specifically addressing the need for such devices and prohibiting limitations on their usage. For example, someone who uses a wheelchair cannot be banned from an aircraft on the grounds that he or she is using a wheelchair.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.