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AE vs AT Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by

adaptive equipment, adaptive technology, mechanical lift

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

adaptive eating utensils

large handle utensils
enlarge the grasping surface so a person with a limited grasp or hand strength can hold the utensils with more ease
weighted utensil
help increase the propri­oce­ptive input that the utensil gives to the user, helping to reduce tremors and improve control during eating
angled utensils
limited upper extremity range of motion use angled eating utensils to compensate for the lack of range; angled utensils are especially useful for people with limited supination
swivel utensils
spoon swivels to keep the utensil level to prevent spills due to hand tremors; helpful for people with parkin­sons, hand tremors and weakness, poor coordi­nation
lightw­eight utensils
are useful for people who have upper body weakness and functional range of motion.
coated spoons
Coated spoons are used with people, especially children, who have oral hypers­ens­iti­vity.
rocker knife
used by people with hand weakness, arthritic deform­ities, and people who only have the use of one hand.
knife/fork combo
used by people who have the use of one hand only. The rocker knife portion is used to cut food and the tines to poke food and bring it to the mouth.
roller knife
used by people who have hand and upper extremity weakness, fine motor coordi­nation deficits, or the use of one hand only.
universal cuff
used by people with limited hand mobility and function, including people with SCI, TBI, CVA, MS, and other diagnoses. The cuff holds the utensil in place so the user does not have to have a functional grasp to control the utensil.
foam tubing
used to build up the handles of regular eating utensils
nosy cup
Nosy cups are used by people who cannot tilt their heads back to drink. The cut out in the cup makes room for the nose, elimin­ating the need to tip the head.
dysphagia cup
the dysphagia cup allows a person to drink without tilting the head back. Dysphagia cups were designed specif­ically for people with swallowing problems to reduce the risk of choking and aspira­tion.
long spout cup
design of the cup helps to prevent liquids from dribbling out of the mouth.
suction plate and bowl
Suction plates and bowls are used by people who have difficulty holding dishes while eating,
sectioned dish
Sectioned dishes prevent food from sliding on the plate and mixing together. They are used by people who have difficulty loading food utensils due to limited mobility, people with visual impair­ments, and people with oral sensory sensit­ivity.
plate guard
prevents food from sliding off a plate when it is scooped or cut. Plate guards are used by people with limited upper extremity mobility or people with visual impair­ments.
nonslip placemat
prevents dishes from sliding on the table during meals. People with poor upper extremity coordi­nation or visual impair­ments use non-slip placemats.


used to compensate for a physical limita­tion, to promote safety and to prevent joint injury
dressing stick
used to minimize the need to bend over the hips and don/doff LBD
grab bars
installed in walls for toilet and shower/tub transfers
add thick gripers to make it easier to hold onto the toothbrush
non slip mat
placed on the bottom of silverware to prevent slippage
leg lifter
can be used for transfers and bed mobility to easily pull the leg over the edge of the bed or tub
long handled sponge
useful for indivi­duals who struggle to bend at the hips and wash their lower body
shoe horn
used to slide off the indivi­duals shoes w/o them bending down or crossing the legs to remove them
3-1 commode
can be used as a raised toilet seat, separate toilet commode, shower chair
tub bench
draped over the edge of the tub so the individual can slide into the shower

mechanical lift

if pt is capable of indepe­ndent weight bearing
no lift
If the patient is incapable of weight bearing
lift is essential
If the patient is partial or non-weight bearing,
may be a candidate for a mechanical lift,
ability to follow directions
comprehend and follow directions is another factor to consider when determ­ining the safest method for transf­erring a patient.


large key board
A keyboard with enlarged keys, sometimes color coded. -improves key surface size for people with coordi­nation deficits. -improves visibility for people with low vision.
A hard-p­lastic keyboard cover with holes drilled over each key. -helps eliminate striking more than one key during typing for people with coordi­nation deficits.
expanded keyboard
A large sized keyboard, usually made of a sturdy material, that provides increased surface area for typing. -used with indivi­duals with severe upper extremity coordi­nation deficits.
ergonomic keyboard
A keyboard that is curved to position the wrists and hands in neutral positions during typing. -used by people who type extens­ively to prevent repetitive motion syndromes.
trackball mouse
A computer mouse that incorp­orates a ball held in by a socket. The ball is connected to sensors within the mouse that detect its movement. The thumb or fingers are used to roll the ball which moves the cursor on the computer screen. -used by people with upper extremity coordi­nation deficits or severe upper extremity weakness.
joystick mouse
A computer mouse that uses a joystick to move the cursor. This device can be operated either by hand or by mouth. -used by people with severe upper extremity coordi­nation deficits or sever upper extremity weakness. -used by people with upper extremity paralysis.
access­ibility settings
Settings on the operating system of a device that improve access­ibility for all users. Settings include: -adjus­tments for screen and print size -adjus­tments for display contrast -settings for “sticky keys” (single key shortcuts) and other keyboard settings. -settings for cursor size and speed. -a magnifier app -colored overlay apps for reading text -a narrator app that reads all text on the screen. -a speech to text app that allows the user to dictate commands. -settings for closed captioning -settings that allow switch access.
voice recogn­ition
Software and apps that allow the user to speak into a device to give commands or produce text. -also called Speech to Text
word prediction
Software and apps that predict what the user is going to type based on the first 1 or 2 key strokes. -used by people with learning disabi­lities. -used by people with deficits in fine motor coordi­nation or other problems with typing.
text to speech
Software and apps that allow the user to listen to text already written on the screen. Can be used to read web pages or can be used to listen to and edit text in a document.
Devices that adapt or enlarge the “on”, “off”, or “change” functions of electronic items to allow access by people with severe disabi­lities. There are many different types and sizes of switches. -can be operated by hand, mouth, head, or any other functi­oning muscle or active movement. -can be connected to a device by cord or Wi-Fi signal. -can be used for a single function or multiple functions. –Jelly bean switch – hand operated switch that is round and brightly colored, resembling a jelly bean. Often used with young children. –Sip and puff switch – a mouth operated switch that functions when the user either sucks or blows air through the switch straw. Often used by quadri­ple­gics. –Twitch switch – a switch that operates by contra­cting muscle fibers of a single muscle to perform a single function. Used by high level spinal cord injury patients.
enviro­nmental controls
Systems that operate the enviro­nmental functions of a house, using adapted methods.
augmen­tativce commun­ication device
Any device that provides a means of nonverbal commun­ica­tion. May be low tech, such as a picture board, or high tech, such as an electronic picture commun­ication device with multiple layers. -used with people who do not have functional verbal commun­ica­tion. -the user must have high enough perceptual and cognitive abilities to be able to select pictures related to wants and needs. -operated by hand, touch screen, push button, switch, or eye gaze.