All that you need to know about rehabilitation technology

Amit Sen
A. Sen|02.06.17

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rehabilitation technologyThe dictionary defines "rehabilitation" as the return to a prior state of well being. The term has been used a lot in the recent times, in association with people who have battled against depression, drug addiction, alcoholism or other such ailments (both physical and mental) and have had to seek rehabilitation to move past it and return to their normal lives. When all drugs fail, rehabilitation has been found to work wonders, as most will agree.

But how is it that rehabilitation works? If you weren't aware of it already, there is a separate field altogether that goes by the name of Rehabilitation Engineering or Rehabilitation Technology. Rehabilitation technology refers to the systematic use of engineering methodologies, technologies and scientific principles in order to meet the needs of and break down the barriers that are encountered by people suffering from any kind of disability which includes the areas of transportation, employment, education, rehab, recreation and independent living. Assistive living technologies and rehabilitation engineering are also included in rehabilitation technology, which is an umbrella term.

All that you need to know about rehabilitation technology

We all know why rehabilitation is provided to individuals. But the question may very well arise, why is rehabilitation technology important? Here's why:
  • Disabilities pose limitations on those suffering from it. Any kind of addiction too would create barriers between a person and his right to lead a normal, healthy life. This is where rehabilitation technology comes in. It strives to shatter these barriers and restore the people suffering from disability to the kind of life they are entitled to.
  • The ultimate goal, irrespective of the kind of disability one is suffering from, is to be able to return to one's vocation. Vocational rehab is one of the most important aspects of rehab technology. This field aims at vocational rehab and also creates a number of employment opportunities, which would have otherwise been impossible.
  • Independent living is basic human right; rehabilitation technology recognises this right and attempts to create opportunities for the same. It also paves the way for new employment opportunities and eligibility determinations.
  • The rehab process is usually a lengthy one; it doesn't happen overnight. Rehabilitation technology can be used at any point during the process, as the care provider may determine. Also, the kind of technology being used and the extent to which it is going to be used is going to be determined based on how beneficial it would be for the person on the receiving end.
  • Rehab technology usually caters to a few specific areas where the person in rehabilitation might need assistance. This includes augmenting communication, positioning and seating arrangements, environment controls, access to computer and other modes of technology, modifications to the home, certain changes to the job site and mobility equipment.
  • As the very name suggests, rehab technology includes the use of certain specially developed devices and equipments. Now there's nothing to worry about, these devices abide by the safety and health standards that have been established beforehand. Also, the devices are not to be operated without the supervision of licensed individuals. Legally speaking, it is advisable for the person seeking rehab technology to get insurance for the devices being used. Look, this is nothing but a piece of technology and at the end of the day, they too are prone to glitches.
What does rehabilitation technology include?

When we speak of rehab technology, it would be just right to straighten out at the very beginning the kind of assistance it entails.
  • For people suffering from physical disabilities where movement is affected, mobility aids are provided. These include crutches, canes, scooters, walking sticks, wheelchairs and so on.
  • Cognitive assistance is also provided. Post brain injury, people might require assistance of electrical devices and computers to carry out basic daily activities.
  • Screen enlargement options, screen readers, voice recognition systems and other such devices can help people with sensory ailments.
  • Closed captioning is a latest development in this field which allows those suffering from hearing ailments to enjoy television shows and movies with full effects.
  • For disabled students in schools, assistive devices like page turners, book holders or pencil grips are also provided.
Thus, this article paints a clear picture of the heights that have been achieved with rehab technology. But there is no end to research and the ample scope it brings, and as they say, there are still miles to go as far as rehabilitation technology is concerned.
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