The terms adaptive technology and assistive technology are used interchangeably, although assistive is the more formalized term, because it is incorporated into a number of legislative acts in both the United States and Canada. The acronym AT is also used frequently.

Two common concepts describe adaptive technologies. The first concept is that adaptive technologies involve a device, service, strategy, practice, or protocol that is uniquely designed, modified, or customized. The second concept is that adaptive technologies are intended to meet or improve the functional, social, daily living, or psychological needs of people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1988, sec. 3.1, provides a comprehensive treatment of this definition.

Adaptive technology is an interdisciplinary field. The rehabilitation and biomedical engineering fields have been working with adaptive ...

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