Assistive Devices

Assistive devices make tasks easier, or possible.  If you have a disability or injury, you may use a number of assistive devices. These are tools, products or types of equipment that help you perform tasks and activities. Assistive devices  may help you move around, eat, see, go the bathroom, keep personal hygiene, communicate, or get dressed. Some are high-tech tools, others are much simpler.



Assistive Device Definitions

speech devices

Speech device is a device that aides people with communication limitations with speech due to physical impairment, illness, or disease. Speech generating devices, abbreviated as SGDs and also known as voice output aids, are electronic devices and communication systems used to supplement, improve or replace speech and writing for individuals with severe speech impairments.

Augmentative communication

Augmentative communication is alternate methods of communication, also known as augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), is a group term for communication methods that aide, supplement, or replace speech or writing for individuals with impairments producing, comprehending, or writing spoken or written language.


Collar is used by people with muscle trouble, motor neuron degeneration, and other related symptoms or illnesses, such as ALS, often require a collar, neck-brace, or other apparatus to assist in keeping their head up. This may be required temporarily or daily as neck muscles become tired. Finding a satisfactory collar is often difficult.

headmaster collar

Headmaster collar is popular because it is very open around the neck and provides a reasonable level of support. The headmaster collar is available through many online medical supply vendors and orthotists. It can also be ordered directly from manufacturers.

aspen collar

Aspen collar is the most often prescribed collar by orthotists because it provides the greatest level of support. However, it can be rather restrictive and a little uncomfortable for prolonged use. The aspen collar is made of semi-rigid plastic with foam inserts to provide additional comfort. Velcro straps are used to adjust the fit.

foam collar

A foam collar is the most readily available collar because they are accessible, lightweight, least expensive and easiest to find. While a foam collar is available, they are the least dependable, least durable and most uncomfortable of the assistive collars available. They are particular uncomfortable and unsatisfactory for patients with ALS.

custom collar

Custom collars are specifically designed for patients that require a neck collar for day to day activities. Often, individuals seek a custom collar when they require their collar for lengthy periods of time and no other existing, pre-fabricated collar suits their taste or comfort level.


DynaVox is the brand name for a variety of speech generating devices.