Assistive Technology - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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RIC Assistive Technology Program

Rehabilitation therapy can go far in helping you regain abilities and independence. But when rehabilitation alone is not enough, the Assistive Technology Program may offer solutions to facilitate skills that you once thought impossible — from tasks as commonplace as turning on a television, to essential human functions like communicating with the world. With RIC’s Assistive Technology Program, your day-to-day needs meet high-tech solutions in adaptive equipment, alternative communication devices and other technological tools that can help make your life productive and fulfilling.

The Power of Technology

RIC Assistive Technology for Pediatric Patients

At RIC, you have access to state-of-the-art
equipment. Plus, RIC is one of the few hospitals in
the nation able to customize your device in-house.

RIC’s program is unique in its clinician-based approach to high-tech tools. Specially trained therapists will assess, identify and recommend appropriate assistive devices for you. They will then work as a team to make sure you are comfortable with the equipment and using it to its full potential. We have a large selection of state-of-the-art, commercially available devices on-hand to assist in assessing the most appropriate equipment for your needs. When you choose a device, we’ll work directly with vendors to ensure a hassle-free experience. In addition, RIC’s rehabilitation engineers can modify equipment or fabricate custom-made tools to meet your particular needs.

The Technology Center

If you have decreased mobility, dexterity or ability to speak, RIC’s Technology Center offers a remarkable range of assistive devices. The Center’s occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists are specialists in the use of these devices to create a better quality of life.

Assistive Technology for RIC PatientsAugmentative and alternative communication devices help you express yourself when speech is limited. They range in complexity from low-tech tools, such as a manual communication board that allows you to point to letters or pictures, to high-tech voice-generating computers that say what you input. When manual dexterity is limited, these tools can be controlled by a joystick, alternative keyboard, switches or even your eye gaze.

Specialized hardware and software can give people with very limited dexterity full computer access, which translates into greater independence and more communication options. Adaptations include keyboard modifications, alternative mouse devices, head- or voice-controlled hands-free options, and specialized systems that respond to a nod of the head or the blink of an eye.

Day-to-day tasks such as using the telephone, turning on the television and operating light switches are very challenging to people with limited mobility or hand control. Electronic aids to daily living can give you more control over your environment by allowing you to operate household devices through a single switch, keypad or voice command.

Through the RIC Lester B. Knight Technology Lending Library, eligible individuals may use assistive devices through short-term loans.

Rehabilitation Engineering Center

At the Rehabilitation Engineering Center, engineers, designers and technicians provide the technical expertise – including modifying commercial products and fabricating custom equipment – to ensure the best solution for you. That could mean creating a customized seating system, adapting telephone buttons, or designing a work station so a patient can go back to work.

Making an Appointment

Have your physician write a referral for an Assistive Technology consultation. Then call us at 800-883-3931 to schedule an initial evaluation at your preferred location.