A preliminary study (National Council on Disability, 1993) surveyed 136 individuals with disabilities to evaluate the costs and benefits associated with the use of different kinds of technology-related assistance.
The individuals were from four age groups and the results indicate a significant impact of AT on many aspects of the respondents lives, including:
- the majority of infants with disabilities benefited by having fewer health problems because of AT
- nearly 75% of school age children were able to remain in a regular classroom, and 45 % were able to reduce their use of school-related services
- 65% of working-age persons were able to reduce dependence on family members
- 58% were able to reduce dependence on paid assistance, and 37% were able to increase earnings
- among elderly persons, 80% were able to reduce dependence on others, half were able to reduce dependency on paid persons, and half were able to avoid entering a nursing home
These results indicate that the issue becomes not how can we afford effective AT, but what costs are involved if it is not provided.