Committee on the Use of Selected Assistive Products and Technologies in Eliminating or Reducing the Effects of Impairments

Type: Consensus Study
Topics: Select Populations and Health Equity, Health Services, Coverage, and Access
Boards: Board on the Health of Select Populations, Board on Health Care Services

Activity Description

An ad hoc committee will provide an analysis of the use in adults of selected assistive products and technologies, including wheeled/seated mobility devices, upper extremity prostheses, and committee-selected products and technologies that pertain to hearing and to communication and speech. The committee will provide definitions and explanations of relevant terms, including assistive technology and workplace reasonable accommodations.

Drawing upon existing data to the extent they are available, the committee will address the following questions:

1) For the selected products and technologies
a. To what extent are they being used, and by whom?
b. What is the observed range of impairment mitigating effects?
c. How does use vary depending upon the individual, including those with other impairments or comorbidities and how does this vary for different occupations?
d. To what extent have they altered the outlook for occupational success?
e. What are typical training and adaptation times?

2) To the degree possible, the committee will address
a. What information exists on access to and availability of the selected assistive products and technologies in the current health care and rehabilitation environment, including access to appropriate evaluation and training by qualified personnel?
b. Under what circumstances, if any, do employers provide access to these products and technologies as workplace reasonable accommodations?
c. What costs are associated with the product and technology acquisition, product maintenance, repair, and replacement and how do disabled individuals gain financial access to the products and technologies?
d. For young adults, what challenges exist in transitioning from a school environment to the workplace?

3) To the extent information is available, the committee will describe the decision-making processes of other government or private monetary disability benefit programs regarding the use of the selected assistive products and technologies.

As of March 2016, the Health and Medicine Division continues the consensus studies and convening activities previously undertaken by the Institute of Medicine (IOM)

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