Could assistive technology help you?

When facing a threat to independence due to illness or accident, individuals want answers and solutions that will help maximize their participation in everyday life.

According to Mary Ellen Buning, Ph.D., OTR/L, ATP/SMS, patients want options. “Assistive technology allows them to adopt technologies into their life and routines that enable them to do what’s meaningful,” she said.

Assistive Technology services within UofL Physicians – Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation offer solutions which enable recovery and renew independence. Located within Frazier Rehab and Neuroscience Center, the specialists use up-to-date technologies and tools that can compensate for performance limitations and support their ability to return to valued roles and occupations.

“All technology has mushroomed,” Dr. Buning said.

She explained that technology can truly help patients in all areas of their life – from communication to home automation.

“Patients,” she said, “can truly become independent with the help of assistive technology.” She also added that as technology has evolved, it has become an affordable option for patients.

The UofL Physicians – Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physicians are researchers and teachers at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, and have access to advanced assistive technology tools.

“I’ve been impressed with the level of compassion and the quality time our physicians and staff give to our patients, ”Dr. Buning said.

“Assistive Technology has something for everyone,” she said. “From simple solutions for individuals with mild impairments to those with more severe disabilities.”

The Assistive Technology services within UofL Physicians – Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation offer evaluations and recommendations for learning new strategies for accomplishing tasks such as:

  • Avoiding secondary disability through pressure management and postural support
  • Regaining mobility by means of ultra lightweight and power wheelchairs with specialized controls and seating options
  • Learning adaptive ways to use computers for employment, education and personal management
  • Alternate control for Wi-Fi devices for easy management of calendar, phone, and face-to-face communication
  • Communicating with the help of alternative and augmentative communication devices
  • Controlling the household lights and appliances with electronic aids for daily living (EADLs), and
  • Getting advice for home and workplace accessibility modifications

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Melody Kitchen

Melody Kitchen is the director of communications at UofL Health. She has more than 15 years of health care marketing experience. Melody believes that empowering people with health care knowledge enables them to be better advocates for their own health care. Melody received her bachelor's and master's from Texas Tech University.

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