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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Epilepsy : Common Assistive Technologies

This guide provides resources about epilepsy.

What are assistive technologies?

The Technology Related Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 described an assistive technology device as "any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities."

Assistive technologies can be "high tech" and "low tech:" from canes and lever doorknobs to voice recognition software and augmentative communication devices (speech generating devices).

Technologies for Memory Loss

There are many types of assistive technologies that can be used in either the workplace or the classroom that can help individuals who experience memory loss during or after a seizure. Since the extent, frequency, or intensity of memory loss will vary for each individual, it is important to consider which technologies would be most effective on an individual basis. Some common technologies to consider include the following: 

  • Apps for memory (such as Aida Reminder, AudioNote, or Brainwaves)
  • Electronic organizers
  • Form-generating software
  • Labels/bulletin boards
  • Memory software

Technologies for Stress Intolerance

Individuals with epilepsy may suffer from anxiety and high levels of stress, which can heavily impact their performance at work or in the classroom. Some helpful technologies for managing or reducing levels of stress and anxiety include the following: 

  • Apps (such as Breathe2Relax, Headspace, and Stop, Breathe, Think)
  • Fitness trackers
  • Simulated skylights and windows 
  • Sound/noise machines
  • Sun boxes and lights

Other Key Accomodations

In addition to the above assistive technologies, it is also important to consider the following key accommodations for employees with epilepsy: 

  • Driving: In the case of an employee having driving restrictions, it is important to ensure the employee has a partner they can ride with for meetings and/or have the ability to telework if unable to access the physical workplace.
  • Ensuring safety in the workplace: In the case an employee does have a seizure while in the workplace, it is important to have a plan of action and prepare for an emergency. Some examples of ways to prepare include having an emergency response plan and keeping aisles and emergency exits uncluttered for easy and quick access.
  • Personal care: Upon having a seizure, the employee may experience bodily functions such as crying, drooling, or urinating. As a result, it is important to accommodate the employee with a private space in which they can perform self care and recover, as well as provide sensitivity training for all employees.

Employees with Epilepsy/Seizure Disorder

Finding Assistive Technology