AbleData is an online database containing over 40,000 entries on assistive technology products, manufacturers, and disability service organizations.
The US Department of Education's National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research sponsors AbleData through its Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
The information on assistive devices and rehabilitation equipment (from both domestic and international sources) is compiled for use by persons with disabilities, seniors, and rehabilitation professionals and caregivers in the US.
AbleData's mission is to provide objective information. It does not produce, sell, or endorse any of the products it profiles, nor does it publish a catalogue. Those seeking more information must contact a product's manufacturer or one of its distributors.
AbleData Assistive Technology Database
AbleData's core offering is its database of assistive technology. Each entry includes a detailed description of features and functions and provides pricing (when available) and contact information for manufacturers and/or distributors. The database also offers information on non-commercial prototypes, customized products, and do-it-yourself designs.
AbleData organizes information into 20 categories:
- Aids for Daily Living
- Blind and Low Vision
- Deaf & Hard of Hearing
- Environmental Adaptations
- Safety & Security
- Therapeutic Aids
- Wheeled Mobility
Each category is further divided into product types. For example, the Blind and Low Vision section has subheadings for braille writers, magnifiers, and talking kitchen appliances. Under Deaf & Hard of Hearing are sections on telephones and captioning.
Though it does not endorse products, AbleData does publish reviews and classified ads in the Consumer Forum.
Users can do keyword searches for companies and organizations, browse the complete list alphabetically, or explore resources in their home state. AbleData also has also many international listings sorted by country.
In addition to products, AbleData profiles manufacturers and disability service organizations. The site also maintains a list of Information Centers and a calendar of upcoming meetings, conferences, and workshops relating to assistive technology.
AbleData Online Library
In addition to its database, AbleData also maintains an Online Library that features three main resources:
- AbleData Publications: Includes free consumer guides and fact sheets in accessible formats for selecting assistive products and maximizing use of AbleData information.
- A.T. Literature: A searchable listing of articles, books, papers and related publications (including links, when available) on assistive technology, covering product reviews, research, and guidelines for selecting and funding solutions.
- News You Can Use: Lists news items relating to assistive technology and issues that might be of interest to the disability community.
AbleData can be used without registering, though setting up a MyAbleData account enables users to set custom-defined site styles, save recent searches, and sign up for email updates. AbleData also runs an Information Center open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (EST) to answer phone questions on assistive technology.
Visit AbleData online or call 800.227.0216 (301.608.8998) for more information