Inventory -- Classification of AT Devices

Program Operations:  Inventory Classifying AT Devices and Services The attached paper presents the taxonomy of assistive technology devices used by the state AT Act Programs when entering data in the National Information System for Assistive Technology (NISAT).  There are other ways to classify and categorize (e.g., the 20 categories used by, but this taxonomy is widely used. 

Classification of Devices

There are 10 categories for classifying devices in the NISAT system.

Speech communication Vision Hearing Computers and related Daily living Learning, cognition, and developmental Environmental adaptations Mobility, seating, and positioning Vehicle modification and transportation Recreation, sports, and leisure

Many devices can fit into more than one category depending on how they are used by a consumer.  Devices can most reliably be classified based on the functional need that is served by the “assistive” aspect of the device.  For example, a computer that is outfitted with an external speech synthesizer and used as a communication device for a person who had a stroke would be classified as “speech communication”, not “computers and related”. 

As another example, while telephones are used for communication, not all telephones are immediately categorized in speech communication. A telephone could be classified in different categories, depending on the functional needs of the user. When the primary difficulty is seeing the dial, a large button phone would be classified under Vision.  When the primary difficulty is hearing another person on the phone, an amplified phone would be classified under Hearing.  When the primary difficulty is having one’s speech understood on the phone, an adapted phone would be classified under Speech Communication.  When the primary difficulty involves another function (or multiple functions) the phone would be classified under Daily Living. 

A component of a larger system should be classified according to the function or primary use of the larger system.  For example, a mouth stick that is used to provide access to a communication system such as Pathfinder would be classified under Speech Communication. A mouth stick that is used to type papers would be classified under Computer Access.  A mouth stick that is used generically as an aid to daily living would be classified as Daily Living.

Services are classified according to the AT category associated with the service.  For example, an audiological evaluation would be classified under Hearing.

Guidance and Standards

Indicators of Quality for AT Reuse 3.4 Device Tracking (Inventory)

The program uses an accurate and efficient method to track the inventory of available devices.

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This work is supported under a five-year cooperative agreement # H235V060016 awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, and is administered by the Pass It On Center of the Georgia Department of Labor – Tools for Life.  However, the contents of this publication do not necessarily represent the policy or opinions of the Department of Education, or the Georgia Department of Labor, and you should not assume endorsements of this document by the Federal government or the Georgia Department of Labor.







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Other Information

Title: Inventory -- Classification of AT Devices
Module: Program Operations
Author: NISAT
Audience: Implementer
Sub Title: National Classification System AT Devices & Svcs
Organization Source: Nat nformation System for Assistive Technology
Last Reviewed: 04-25-2010 12:48 PM