Assistive Technology Unit
Since 1991, the UIC Assistive Technology Unit has been providing mobile assistive technology services to underserved individuals with disabilities in northeast Illinois. The ATU is a community-based service delivery program, serving over 90% of our clients in their homes, schools, work, or recreation settings. A fleet of mobile units is used to achieve the community-based approach, making the ATU the only mobile program in Illinois.
Assistive technologies are a broad range of low-tech to high tech devices, individualized strategies and customized practices that are conceived and implemented to enable children and adults to maximize their independence in home, school, work and recreational settings. The ATU also participates in research activities in the field of assistive technology, and is committed to academic excellence and leadership development for professionals and consumers.
The Assistive Technology Unit (ATU) is an interdisciplinary clinic of the Department of Disability and Human Development (DHD) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). ATU clinicians include occupational therapists, physical therapists, rehabilitation engineers, and speech-language pathologists, each having Assistive Technology as their area of concentration.
The ATU provides services in the following areas:
Do you know someone who might benefit from an assistive technology evaluation? The Assistive Technology Unit provides assistive technology (AT) evaluations to approximately 400 individuals a year of all ages with a range of disabilities. Referrals come to the ATU from a variety of sources, including consumers, family members, social services agencies, school districts, physicians and other medical staff, advocates, and others.
To initiate an AT evaluation, please contact ATU Case Management at 312-413-9065, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and request a referral packet. The initial Intake Form can be downloaded here (PDF), although additional paperwork will be required. Feel free to also contact ATU Case Management if you have any questions or would prefer to discuss your AT needs before sending the referral. AT services are scheduled after the completed packet is reviewed at the ATU.
A unique feature of ATU services is the use of mobile units to bring evaluation and implementation services to the consumer in the individual's home, school, work, or recreation setting. A very different model than traditional center-based programs, the community-based approach enables the Assistive Technology devices to be tried out in the environment in which they will be used. This structure also enables participation of individuals that the consumer feels are important and minimizes scheduling difficulties for the consumer. As such, initial appointments are scheduled for a time and place that provides the optimal environment for natural opportunities and input from integral team members.
The ATU team uses a client-centered approach to their assessment. Through observation, interaction and input from team members, information is gathered about each individual's goals, needs and opportunities. Each appointment ranges from 1-2 hours in length.
ATU clinicians teach in the Department of Disability and Human Development's (DHD) Rehabilitation Technology Track. A series of 7 courses are offered over a 2-year period. Graduate students take these courses as they pursue a master's degree from the DHD.
As an alternative for working professionals, an Assistive Technology Certificate Program is offered that consists of a 4 course sequence.
The ATU also offers a variety of seminars and workshops, which offer Continuing Education Credits for working professionals. Please view our list of upcoming seminars.
Assistive Technology Unit
Department of Disability and Human Development
University of Illinois at Chicago
1640 W. Roosevelt Road, Room 415. M/C 726
Chicago, Illinois 60608-6904
Director: Glenn Hedman, PE, ATP, RET
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