Assistive technology is defined as “products, equipment, and systems that enhance learning, working, and daily living for persons with disabilities.” A simple piece of assistive technology can be the dependent factor granting many individuals the ability to work, attend school, and live as independently as possible.
Each individual’s needs are unique, so finding the appropriate piece of equipment can be challenging. When browsing the Internet for assistive technology, individuals will quickly find hundreds of companies offering assistive products both locally and abroad. A majority of these companies are resellers of products made overseas or in other states, but for Hoosiers interested in finding Indiana-based companies who design, develop and make assistive technologies, here a great list of four we like.
4 Indiana Assistive Technology Companies
CreateAbility Concepts, Inc.:
Steve Sutter founded CreateAbility Concepts, Inc. in 2001. It was established in Colorado, but relocated to Indiana in 2006. The company’s focus is “on the integration of wireless sensors with software systems to provide a monitoring environment that reduces our client’s dependency on constant in-home care, while simultaneously being less intrusive than cameras prying into every room.” Their ultimate goal is to make products that blend in with the client’s environment, while increasing the client’s abilities.
Bottom line: Helps provide security systems for individuals aging-in-place or with disabilities.
Click here to learn more about CreateAbilty and the products and services they provide.
Rest Assured, LLC:
Rest Assured is a tele-monitoring company owned and operated by ResCare, Inc. in Lafayette, Indiana. The company’s services are specifically developed to benefit adults who have cognitive or developmental disabilities by helping them grow, develop, and enhance their overall quality of life.
The company uses “the latest wireless technology, a secure broadband Internet connection, and a state-of-the-art network virtual support and response center” to offer their clients home security options, client specific protocols, event tracking, and much more.
Bottom line: Helps provide security options for individuals with cognitive or developmental disabilities.
Click here to learn more about Rest Assured, LLC.
Dr. Oliver Wendt is a Professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, and Special Education at Purdue University. He is also a co-founder of SPEAK MODalities located in West Lafayette, Indiana. SPEAK MODalities addresses the constantly growing necessity for speech and language intervention in autism spectrum disorders. The company provides evidence-based products which:
- Help individuals develop natural speech and language
- Grow with individuals as their needs and capabilities grow
- Expand individuals’ social horizons
- Provide an entertaining experience in unique ways
The company currently offers SPEAKall! Which is an augmentative and alternative communication app available on the App Store.
Bottom line: Helps children with autism learn how to communicate.
Tim Balz, a student at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, founded Freedom Chairs. Freedom Chairs is a small company based in Mooresville, Indiana that has given away more than 130 power wheelchairs. The company’s mission is to “provide the freedoms of mobility to anyone in need.” The company takes donated wheelchairs, fixes them up, and donates them to individuals who need them. They’ve provided wheelchairs to individuals in need locally as well as internationally.
Bottom line: Nonprofit that takes wheelchairs, fixes them up, and donates them to individuals in need.
Click here to learn more about Freedom Chairs. You might also like to watch this video profile of Tim as part of 5-hour ENERGY Helps, which recognizes outstanding people and organization who give their time and energy to make the lives of others better.
More about the devices and technologies pictured above:
- Enchroma Glasses: Enchroma glasses help enhance the world of color for individuals with red-green colorblindness.
- Belkin security camera: can be connected to Amazon Echo, smartphones, and more to increase security. Ideal for individuals aging in place and everyone looking to increases at-home security.
- AAC Device: example of an AAC device, which helps users who are nonverbal be able to communicate their wants, needs, and thoughts.
- iPad: the iPad and other tablets offer an endless world of possibilities. There are hundreds of apps to benefit users with visual, hearing, mobility, and communication impairments. The app open is KNFB Reader, which is an app that makes printed text accessible for individuals with visual impairments.
About the Author
Laura Medcalf is the social media content specialist for the INDATA Project at Easterseals Crossroads. She blogs about assistive technology every day and is the host of a weekly podcast called Accessibility Minute. She enjoys all things Disney, loves painting, and cuddling with her American Bulldog, Winifred Eleanor.
Visit the Easterseals Crossroads website to learn more about the services they provide for people with disabilities whether it’s for living, learning, working or playing.