Chapter 22: Assistive Technology

22.1 Overview

You may purchase an assistive or adaptive device when your consumer's therapeutic need requires it. Be aware, however, that many assistive and adaptive products on the market today do not meet the CRS program’s best-value purchasing criteria (see Chapter 24: Purchasing Goods and Services for Consumers, 24.3.2 Best Value Purchasing).

For example, technologically advanced products that are not shown to be safe and effective by independent clinical evidence do not meet best-value criteria and must not be purchased. If the requested device is questionable or if you are uncertain about whether a product meets CRS best-value criteria, contact the CRS central office staff member for guidance.

22.2 The Scope of Rehabilitation Technology Services

The CRS program sponsors:

  • rehabilitation engineering;
  • assistive technology devices; and
  • assistive technology services.

You may use rehabilitation technology services once the consumer is removed from the Waiting List, as necessary, to assist the consumer in achieving his or her planned goal, and objectives and to provide authorized services to consumer family members.

Consultation is available from the CRS central office program specialist.

22.3 Rehabilitation Engineering Services

Only licensed professional engineers may provide rehabilitation engineering services. Consider using an engineer's services when the service includes design or modification of a product.

Before you commit CRS funds, it is important to reach an understanding with the provider about price and delivery. For rehabilitation engineering services provided before plan development, use the following specification levels:

  • Level 1—Evaluation Services
  • Level 2—Other Evaluation Services
  • Level 3—Other Evaluation Services
  • Level 4—Other Evaluation Services

Consult with the CRS central office program specialist to gather information about providers from whom the CRS program has purchased services, and to help when problems are encountered.

22.4 Assistive Technology Services

Professionals other than rehabilitation engineers may provide assistive technology services. These professionals include physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists.