I'm looking for a general term describing all kinds of equipment and other means of improving the life quality of a physically and/or mentally challenged individual. Let's say that a crude'ish definition might be something as follows.

Something needed to compensate for disabilities so that the subject can live self-reliantly and function socially.

For instance a visual aid would be a pair of medical glasses but also, much more specialized, Brail typewriter. It could be an app on a phone suggesting by color the amount of food for a person with ADHD, other neuro-psychiatric disease or arrested development. It could be a talking clock stating the time of day and suggesting type of meal for patients with dementia or post-stroke cases. Voice control for computer (typing in text and operating the cursor) for a person with weak or unsteady arms and/or hands.

A counter-example for something that isn't such an aid is Siri, augmented reality, a car's GPS navigator or a stroller. Those are aiding but not due to a disability but rather convenience. (Of course, many ideas thought of with the disabled in focus has later on become a common man's best friend.)

1 Answer 1


The catch-all term for these is "Assistive Devices and Assistive Technologies", which should include everything you describe.

These are often subdivided into categories, based on specific area of use: mobility aids, hearing aids, respiratory aids, prosthetic devices (or prostheses), closed captioning, adaptive switches, visual aids, and so on.

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