The ABLEDATA Database of Assistive Technology

By Landers, Alynne | The Exceptional Parent, March 1994 | Go to article overview

The ABLEDATA Database of Assistive Technology


Landers, Alynne, The Exceptional Parent


While parents of children with disabilities are never totally prepared for the challenges they will encounter, assistive technology and adaptive equipment can resolve some of these challenges. Assistive technology can provide a means for children to be more independent, or to participate in activities with friends who do not have disabilities. However, the process of identifying the assistive technology product needs of each child is often easier than actually locating the equipment to accommodate those needs--and the parents' budget!

ABLEDATA is a single, comprehensive resource that parents can use to locate and compare assistive technology products. The number of choices available may surprise even the most well-informed. For example, ABLEDATA has information on nearly 900 products to make a home safe and accessible--including 353 products just for the bathroom! There are 310 computer-assisted instruction programs for students with disabilities, 126 adapted toys and 191 games designed for kids and teens with disabilities. In fact, ABLEDATA has information on more than 19,000 products!

ABLEDATA provides an internationally renowned database of information on assistive technology and rehabilitation equipment for all disabilities and all age groups. The project maintains and adds new records on products currently manufactured and distributed in the United States from approximately 2,500 domestic and foreign companies. In addition to commercially available products, the database also includes nearly a thousand "Do-It-Yourself" designs and prototype descriptions. Covering high-tech, low-tech and "no-tech" products designed for persons with disabilities, the scope of the database ranges from enlarged-handle utensils to the most sophisticated optical-character recognition devices (computer screen readers).

Entries in the ABLEDATA database includes manufacturer and distributor information for each product, product features and specifications and pricing data in a format that permits easy comparison among products.

If you haven't used ABLEDATA lately, you don't know ABLEDATA!

ABLEDATA was started more than ten years ago by Marian Hall, an occupational therapist. Over the years, this collection of data has expanded from a manual system of boxed files to an extensive, recognized authority on assistive technology terminology and classification. ABLEDATA has evolved into a premier information and referral system available to individuals with disabilities, their parents, siblings or spouses, rehabilitation professionals, disability advocates and businesses looking to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Today, under the management of Macro International Inc. …

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The ABLEDATA Database of Assistive Technology
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