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Disability Rights of West Virginia

Assistive Technology
for People with Disabilities


Article by Regina Desmond, DRWV Senior Advocate

Assistive Technology (AT) enhances the lives of people with disabilities. AT promotes greater independence by helping people perform tasks that they may otherwise be unable to do. AT is any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities. One of Disability Rights of WV’s federally funded programs is Protection and Advocacy for Assistive Technology (PAAT). Through PAAT, an Advocate or Staff Attorney can assist people with disabilities with gaining or maintaining access to assistive technology and related supports. While DRWV cannot fund any devices or equipment, our staff can assist you with navigating health insurance and/or other funding options.

Below are examples of assistive technology, durable medical equipment, or related services that DRWV has assisted our clients with obtaining:

Independent Housing - Durable Medical Equipment

  • Obtaining vent filters for the client's tracheostomy

  • Acquiring an ultraviolet (UV) light system

  • Repair of a motorized wheelchair

  • Obtaining a letter of medical necessity for a new adjustable hospital bed reimbursement of over $550.00 for a power lift chair

  • Reimbursement of over $550.00 for a power lift chair

Independent Housing - Community Access

  • Ensuring there was an accessible entrance to an apartment building

  • Obtaining required paperwork for transportation by ambulance to all medical appointments


  • Advocating for the WV Division of Rehabilitation Services (WVDRS) to arrange and pay for an appointment with a retina specialist to be evaluated for specialized glasses

  • Ensuring that an employer provided access to screen reader software as recommended by WVDRS

State and Private Psychiatric Hospitals

  • Installation of a ligature resistant grab bar with a “V” shaped closure strip for the client's restroom. Due to the client’s disability, they needed a specialized grab bar

  • Assuring a client has access to their AFO brace, shoes, walker, and dentures

  • access to prescription glasses, hearing aids, wheelchairs and CPAP machines

State and Private Nursing Facilities

  • Assuring access to a bariatric wheelchair with adjustable footrests, based on Physical Therapist's recommendations

  • Requesting that a battery terminal be cleaned on a motorized wheelchair so it would keep charge

  • Advocated for proper cleaning and use of a client's CPAP machine

  • Advocated for access to an eye gaze communication device

If you would like to speak with Disability Rights of WV about access to assistive technology, durable medical equipment, or related devices, please contact us at: (800)950-5250 or

Client Comments

Why we do what we do

Thank you for everything.  The advocate I worked with was so helpful and positive.  I wish you good luck in helping others .  Have an amazing year!

Love you all!

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