Supportive programs and mainstreaming of technology has opened a myriad of opportunities for people with disabilities to achieve their independent living and economic empowerment goals. One of these programs is the Guam System for Assistive Technology (GSAT), which is administered by the University of Guam Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service. The program assists people with disabilities not only to procure assistive devices and equipment but to also avail of facilitative services.
Assistive technology refers to “any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified or customized, that is used to increase, assist, maintain, or improve the functional capacities of individuals with disabilities.”
AT services, on the other hand, refers to “any services that directly assist an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition or use of an AT device.”
ATs include wheelchair, speech communication devices, home modification and portable ramps, electronic magnifies, voice-to-text- systems, visual alert systems, hearing aids and listening devices, lifts and vehicle modifications, braille printers, among others.
According to Carla Torres, assistive technology and special programs coordinator, the focus of the GSAT program is to help individuals with disabilities and…