Updated Notice (January 14, 2021): Due to on-going COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to evaluate the extent we are able to provide all of our in-person services while maintaining the health and safety of our staff and of those receiving our services. We are open for device borrowing requests and iCanConnect WA services. In-person device demonstrations will be offered on a limited basis beginning mid-February; virtual device demonstrations via video/web are available. In-person trainings and public outreach events will continue to be suspended for the foreseeable future. We are offering a variety of assistive technology webinars in the upcoming weeks, so follow us on FaceBook and Twitter for the latest updates and announcements.

Please check back for future updates and do not hesitate to contact us via 800-214-8731 or watap@uw.edu.

Environmental Adaptations - Fine Motor & Getting Around

Environmental and structural adaptations are made to the built environment to remove or reduce barriers and promote access for individuals with mobility disabilities. In additional to structural changes, electronic devices can control a large portion of or an entire living environment for someone who cannot otherwise physically access it.  

Electronic Aids to Daily Living (EADL) provide an easy, independent means of operating the various appliances located in the home, office and classroom. The EADL is controlled by sending a signal through a keypad, keyboard, joystick, switch, or voice control. The control unit is the central processing unit which receives the input signal and translates the information into an output command which then controls the appliance. The most common signal methods for ECUs are:

  • Infrared (IR) - These types of units must have a direct line of sight for the signal to be received by the control unit.
  • Radio Frequency (RF) - Can be used in different rooms but has a limited range of 50-200 feet. Additional wiring is needed in the house or office and interference from another control unit is possible
  • Voice – through use of voice commands, the user can control household appliances.

Most environmental adaptations are permanent or semi-permanent structures, modifications, or additions that usually involve building construction, engineering, and architecture.