knowledge Base Glossary

Glossary of Terms

Assistive Technology (AT)
Technology designed to be utilized in an assistive technology device or assistive technology service.

Assistive Technology Device
Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

The process of breaking down or decompose rapidly under natural conditions and processes.

Device exchange
in which organizations facilitate the transfer of a device from a consumer who does not need the device to a consumer who could use the device without the organization taking possession of the device at any time.

Device reassignment
in which an organization accepts devices from donors and stores them until they can be given or sold to new owners.

Device refurbishment
in which an organization takes the additional step of repairing or restoring used devices to original manufacturer specifications before giving or selling the device to a new owner.

Device remanufacturing
in which an organization alters or enhances devices before giving or selling the device to a new owner.

Device recycling
in which an organization accepts devices from donors and breaks the devices down into component pieces for recycling and disposal.

Device Reutilization
Those in which pre-owned devices are accepted (usually by donation) into an inventory, are repaired or refurbished as needed, and then offered for sale, loan or give away to consumers as recycled products.

Durable Medical Equipment (DME)
This includes mobility devices and other medical equipment, as well as assistive technology devices.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
A federal agency in the Department of Health and Human Services established to regulate the release of new foods and health-related products. The FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation. The FDA is also responsible for advancing the public health by helping to speed innovations that make medicines and foods more effective, safer, and more affordable; and helping the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medicines and foods to improve their health.

Hazardous Waste
Waste materials that when improperly managed may cause or significantly contribute to serious illness or death or that may pose a substantial threat to human health or the environment.

A method of solid waste disposal in which refuse such as paper, glass, and metal are buried between layers of dirt so as to fill in or reclaim low-lying ground.

Municipal Solid Waste
Garbage or refuse that is generated by households, commercial establishments, industrial offices or lunchrooms and sludges not regulated as a residual or hazardous waste. This does not include source-separated recyclables.

Reprocessing of materials into new products.

Similar to reassignment, but in addition the program restores AT to its original configuration, which may include repairing and replacing parts.

Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA)
Purpose is to improve the potential of people with disabilities to achieve their goals through the use of technology by promoting research, development, education, advocacy and provision of technology; and by supporting the people engaged in these activities.

Rehab Services Administration (RSA)
Oversees formula and discretionary grant programs that help individuals with physical or mental disabilities to obtain employment and live more independently through the provision of such supports as counseling, medical and psychological services, job training and other individualized services. In addition, RSA is responsible for advising the Assistant Secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) and the Secretary of Education on the formulation, development, implementation and review of other policies and legislation affecting individuals with disabilities. RSA acts as an advocate to assure the rights of individuals with disabilities, serves as a resource and clearinghouse of information for service providers at national, regional, state and local levels in the development of national programs to reduce or eliminate social and environmental barriers experienced by persons with disabilities, establishes standards for determining who are individuals with disabilities for purposes of RSA program eligibility and provides leadership in assuring that all categories of individuals with disabilities receive equitable consideration for access to services.

Similar to refurbishing, but strips and builds AT to new configuration other than original manufacturer specification. (NOT Recommended)

Reuse Programs
...Exchange programs involve connecting an individual with a used device and an individual who needs a device. They often take the form of "want ads" or are similar to "e-bay." In a device exchange, the current owner of the device and prospective recipient of the device negotiate the terms of exchanging the device directly. The program sponsor serves only as a central venue for connecting individuals, not as a middleman.
...Recycling programs involve the intake of used devices (usually through donation) by the program sponsor. Generally, the sponsor is responsible for device storage and redistribution. It differs from refurbishment in that devices are generally redistributed "as is" or with only minor work such as cleaning.
...Refurbishment programs involve the intake and repair or customization of used devices. Generally, the sponsor is responsible for device storage, repair, and redistribution.

Sanitary Landfill
A landfill that has been designed and engineered to accept municipal waste while ensuring minimal negative impact upon the environment.

To free from dirt, germs, etc., as by cleaning or sterilizing.

The process of making something sanitary, as by cleaning or disinfecting.

Technical Assistance (TA)
A variety of services provided to consumers, other state and local agencies and other entities.

Waste Reduction
Decreasing the amount of waste at its source.

Additional resources:
- Oklahoma Able Tech
- Assistive Technology Act of 1998
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA)