Assistive Technology for People with TBI

Ask the Expert: Assistive Technology for People with TBI

What exactly is assistive technology for people with TBI and how can it help my wife who still faces many challenges even two years post-injury?


Assistive technology (AT) can make an enormous difference in the lives of people with a brain injury. AT is technically any item used by a person with a disability to increase independence and to make the tasks of daily living easier. AT for brain injury can be as simple as a spiral notebook to help with organization and memory, or it can be as sophisticated as a computer-powered vocal assistant to help with communication.

To learn more about items that might help your wife, see a comprehensive list of AT products for those with brain injury at ABLEDATA ( ABLEDATA is a comprehensive database of AT products and information offered by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

It is also important to understand that many people with TBI continue to experience challenges months, years, and even decades after their injury. Eventually, simply aging with a brain injury can become a challenge in itself. However, AT might allow your wife to experience greater ease or efficiency in tackling activities of daily living, and some ATs might even offer a therapeutic benefit as well. I suggest that you speak with your wife's healthcare professionals about which ATs may be most helpful to her.

In some cases, ATs may be covered by health insurance. Prior to settling on an AT, it's always a good idea to contact your insurance company to determine the reimbursement rates for each item.


Posted on BrainLine January 7, 2009.

Comments (4)

Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

I am a 58 y/o F, TBI THRIVER ,surviving a severe closed head injury with counter coup and pica., in 2000. Lucky enough to rehab myself, OTRL whom slipped through cracks - no help provided after 3 day coma and living alone unable to manage a phone to get help, IQ testing 3 months after MVA , for initial  78 IQ trainable retarded, I know because I paid for the results x2,  plotting my recovery, which started with sesame street. However, I need a professional computer, Occupational therapist needing STM compensation with icons on screen, and voice capable, as I am a 1 finger typist now, in this fast  computer world , and my 8 hour  pd day ,,takes me, an accomplished therapist , with full disability self disclosed at hire,  now averaging a minimum  of 12-15 hour/ days,  just to catch up for the day with documentation, with  full caseload.I do this off the clock, and I have for several years now- I used to actually take my weekends unpd, and try to catch up. .Ironically, I actually have been a dept manager several times since my MVA , with progressive spontaneous recovery, and have successfully  run, and provided,  entire  programming for children,, adolescent,and, adult ,psych units, hiring/firing staff, $1600 dollar budget for crafts alone, so I am very capable-just cant type.(TBI) Do you have any knowledge on what program or computer system could be adapted for me so I am competent and timely  with my  paper work, so I  can return to providing the therapy I love. I would be grateful for any ideas or resources ,as unfortunately, computer companies, have promised services, but the individuals involved decided to try and take advantage of me, as well , so I need the knowledge myself, having lost trust.     THANK YOU

I am in urgent need of helP for my son who is angry, frustrated and physically lashing out at my because of his TBI. He suffered 5 concussions from football, skateboarding, and showboarding. Is their a place he can go and regain his selfesteam and confidence that understands his frustration and anger.. I am freightened of him after he have attacked me on several occations. I love him so much and want to help in any way possible, but I am very afraid for my own safety. He is 21 , a great athlete and has been diagnosed with left front temperal lobe injury.
Does he have a lawyer? He is entitled to a Legal Aide attorney if you can't afford one. This would probably be a good place to start.
i have a problem my son has a tbi and can not reamber from day to day what is going on he is know in jail and does not know what for and neather do we can some one point us in the right derection to git us help