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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Common Assistive Technologies

This is a guide that provides resources about PTSD.

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).

Common Assistive Technologies

 Service and Emotional Support Dogs

According to the National Center for PTSD's "Dogs and PTSD" webpage, there is not enough clinical research to know for sure if dogs can help those with PTSD. However, many people who suffer from PTSD find that service dogs and emotional support dogs can help alleviate their PTSD symptoms.

Service dog

There are two types of dogs that can help with PTSD:

  1. Service dogs are dogs that are trained to help their owner with a specific disability. For example, dogs can be trained to pick things up, visually guide those with visual impairments, remind you to take medication, or help those with poor balance.
    • Service dogs can go to public places with their owners, even places that dogs are not usually allowed to go like airplanes or restaurants.
  2. Emotional Support Dogs are dogs that do not have special training, but can provide emotional comfort and companionship for their owners. Often, regular pets can be emotional support dogs if a mental health provider writes a letter recognizing the owner has a mental health problem and needs the dog's emotional support.
    • Excepting special permission, emotional support dogs do not have the special permissions service dogs have to go into public places with their owners.

Mobile Applications   Hand holding a phone with the PTSD Coach application open

Employees with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Finding Assistive Technology