Assistive technology, also known as AT, can help you do things that might otherwise be difficult or impossible to do on your own. Whether a device is simple or complex, AT can help you speak, walk, talk, remember, see, hear, learn and more.
Below find a video and answers to common questions about assistive technology.
Learn more about assistive technology in this 3 minute video:
People of all ages and abilities can benefit from assistive technology. Assistive technology can help you:
Tell your computer to write an email
Open a jar
Keep your food plate in one place on the table
Reach for something up high or down low
Remind you to contact a friend or take your medicine
Hold onto a bottle of your favorite beverage
A System of Technology to Achieve Results, or STAR, works to help all Minnesotans with disabilities gain access to the assistive technology they need to live, learn, work and play.
STAR can help you or a loved one with device demonstrations, equipment loans and trainings.
Yes! You can borrow a device through the Minnesota STAR Program’s online AT lending library to try at home, school, work, or while you play before deciding to buy it. There is no cost to borrow an item.
Visit mn.AT4all.com to browse and borrow items today. Or call 1-888-234-1267 for more information about this free service.
When talking with your case manager, it is important to let them know how the assistive technology will help you live your life more independently.
For example, you might have a goal of cooking independently. Mention specific things in the kitchen that have made it difficult for you to cook on your own. This might be trouble holding a pot and stirring at the same time or struggling to cut food. By sharing your specific needs, your case manager can start to figure out what might be a good option.
If your case manager isn't comfortable with technology or know what options are available for you, tell them you would like to meet with an assistive technology professional or have a formal assessment done to help determine what would be the best for you. Technology for HOME provides assistive technology consults and the MN-Network and Education for Assistive Technology (MN-NEAT) educates individuals and professionals about assistive technology.
Your case manager needs to consider how technology will be used to support you with independent living and how it relates to your disability. Don't just ask for assistive technology because you want it, ask for it because you can explain how it will help you live your life more independently or assist you with things that you currently struggle with due to your disability.
The Minnesota Guide to Assistive Technology has a checklist to help you develop a funding plan for your AT needs.
If you are a veteran, assistive technology might be covered under your VA benefits. Talk with your VA counselor to see if this is an option. Your counselor might have additional recommendations or resources to help cover the costs.
Assistive technology may be covered under Medicare or private insurance, but not often. Speech and communication devices are sometimes covered under Medical Assistance. Speak with your healthcare professionals or Medicare provider about your specific situation.
Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare might pay for assistive technology, such as augmentative communication devices. the Minnesota Department of Human Services has more information on covering augmentative communication devices.
Additional options to help pay for assistive technology may be through grants or community funding, borrowing devices from the Minnesota STAR Program's online AT lending library, or searching for used equipment through local provider agencies, online groups like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.
Try AT before you buy it!
You can borrow a device through the Minnesota STAR Program’s online AT lending library to try at home, school, work, or while you play before deciding to buy it. Visit the link below to browse and loan devices, or call 1-888-234-1267 for more information about this free service.