If you've experienced a spinal cord injury (SCI), you may benefit from assistive technology or adaptive equipment as you return to your home and job. Technology available to help people with spinal cord injury includes tools such as advanced wheelchairs, smartphones, and other devices and assistive robotics. Assistive technology (AT) may help you improve your physical functioning and better adapt to the routine of daily living. From mobility to sports to communicating, AT can help improve quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries.

The Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota offers a wide range of assistive technology and adaptive equipment for people with spinal cord injuries, including:

  • Communication options. Some people with spinal cord injuries have difficulty using a computer or phone or writing. AT options may help you to use computers, smart devices and other communication tools at home, school or work and during other activities.

    Therapists will evaluate you to determine which AT equipment may help you. If you need a speech-generating device (SGD) or other augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device, a speech-language pathologist will evaluate and recommend the most appropriate options and provide ongoing intervention as needed.

  • Other assistive technology options. People who have impaired hand function or mobility impairments often have difficulty operating controls around their home. Therapists will evaluate your need for a specific subset of AT called electronic aids to daily living (EADLs). This technology provides you alternative access to control devices primarily within your home environment to allow you to live more independently.

    The Spinal Cord Injury Program's rehabilitation unit has assistive technology available for you to independently adjust your bed, operate television controls and use other controls. The unit also has tablet devices available with assistive technology software and device options to allow independent access and practice using a computer.

Assistive technology for spinal cord injury care at Mayo Clinic

May 13, 2022
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Assistive technology for spinal cord injury