Assistive Technology (AT) can be used to help a person communicate with others in cases where a person’s speech may be difficult to understand to unfamiliar listeners, or in some cases, to serve as a primary means of communication through daily use of an Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) device.

There are lots of different communication devices out there – from low to high tech.

Some Examples May Include:

A paper communication board or flip book with pictures for the person to point to express a word or phrase

A communication app on a tablet or mobile device

An eye gaze communication system for someone with limited range of motion

In order to determine what type of communication device is most appropriate, an assessment is the best place to start. Through the assessment process, a Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) who specializes in AT/AAC can evaluate the person’s preferences and needs and help determine what types of device would be most appropriate for the person, providing an opportunity to try out different devices throughout the process. You can even try out a device at home through the Maryland Technology Assistance Program, or schedule a tour of their AT library.

To Get Started:

Try asking your insurance company if there is a SLP in-network who specializes in AT/AAC that they can refer you to for an AT Assessment.

AT Discount Sales & Services maintains a list of SLP’s & AT Specialists in Maryland. Find one near you and ask them about an AT assessment for a communication device. These may not be covered by insurance.

Need funds to cover the assessment? Contact your local Center for Independent Living to see what resources they may have available.

Read about additional AT Funding Options in Maryland here.

Talk to your CCS about requesting an AT assessment through DDA.

Contact the Maryland Accessible Telecommunications (MAT) program to see how they may be able to support communication needs.

Once you know the device(s) you need:

Read about additional AT Funding Options in Maryland, here.

Reach out to AT Discount Sales & Services to see if you can get a discounted quote.

Talk to your CCS about requesting any needed AT devices and services through DDA.

Keep in mind that DDA requires that any request for AT over $2,500 must be supported by recommendations in a formal “AT Needs” assessment.

Check out The Assistive Technology Loan Program which helps Maryland residents with disabilities and their families qualify for low-interest loans to buy equipment that will help them live, work and learn more independently.

See if you can find what you need through the Maryland Technology Assistance AT Reuse program.


Don’t forget to make a plan for setup and training on your new AT for you and your team.

If you are currently receiving DDA Waiver funding, you can ask DDA for funding for training on your new Assistive Technology as part of your service request through the Person Centered Planning process.

If you or the person you are seeking AT for is involved with DORS, try asking them for an AT assessment before going to DDA.

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