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Assistive Technology for Behavioral Safety and Self-Protection

Individuals with cognitive and/or behavioral disabilities often need help preventing behaviors which challenge their safety living at home. If you are caring for someone with this type of disability--such as a child with autism or an adult with Alzheimer's--this page was created to let you know about the growing range of assistive technology (AT) products that exists to help you.

Keep in mind that some AT solutions are sophisticated, like GPS tracking systems, but many are simple and inexpensive, like door knob guards or refrigerator latches. Certainly not every solution can work for every individual or situation, but common problems such as kitchen safety, getting up unassisted and wandering are addressed by a variety of options. Sometimes a simple device can make a big difference toward keeping a loved-one living at home.

Note: links to external web sites open in a new window. Links for device types (i.e. an electric plug lock) may be to a listing at a private catalog or to a publicly-funded AT database. Please explore these resources to learn the full range of what is available to you.

Reminder: MassMATCH and the U.S. Department of Education make no endorsement, representation, or warranty expressed or implied for any product, device, or information set forth on this website. Neither MassMATCH nor the U.S. Department of Education has examined, reviewed, or tested any product or device contained on the MassMATCH website.

Bathroom Safety

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Bed Safety

floor pad with remote alarm When this pad is stepped on, the portable wireless alarm is sounded.

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Car Safety

Hand holding seat belt receiver with alarm device attached When the two pieces of the seat belt are not engaged, the device emits a moderately loud alarm.

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Chair and Wheelchair Safety

Alarm attached to back of wheelchair with cord and pin attached to seated user's clothing This alarm attaches to the back of the chair and then clips to the user’s clothing with a cord and a pin.

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Doors and Exits

Door sensor hardware, installed, with inset photo of remote wireless alarm unit. Door sensor with wireless portable alarm

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Electrical Safety

Clothing iron with plug lock attached and keys Plug any appliance into this keyed lock and it becomes unusable.

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Kitchen Safety

HomeSenser device with wires The HomeSenser is there to remind us about the cooking we have left unattended and to shut off the stove if we don't return.

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Elderly woman sitting in wingback chair wearing smoker's apron while smoking Protects the wearer from cigarette burns and accidents

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Telephone Access

Standard landline phone without a key pad Dial-less telephone allows users to receive but not make calls.

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EmFinder tracking bracelet EmFinder’s tracking bracelet ties to the national E-9-1-1 emergency system, helping pinpoint the location of a missing person in virtually any environment.

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Further Resources

MassMATCH AT Regional Centers:

Easter Seals

Catherine Bly and Kristi Peak-Oliveira, ATRC Co-coordinators
89 South Street
Boston, MA 02111
617- 226-2640Voice
617-737-9875 FAX

United Cerebral Palsy of Berkshire County

Christine Singer, Executive Director
208 West Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201
413-499-4077 FAX

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MassMATCH Long-Term Device Loan Program

Provides devices valued less than $500 to income-eligible people with disabilities.

Leo Tonevski
Easter Seals Massachusetts
(800) 244-2756 ext. 428 or 431 Voice
(800) 564-9700 TTY

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Device Catalogs

Web Resources

Autism and wandering prevention brochure (PDF) from the National Autism Association.

Autism Safety Project of Autism Speaks.

Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center at the National Institute on Aging

Home Safety for People with Alzheimer's Disease at the National Institute on Aging

Illinoise Assistive Technology Program's Autism Safety DVD

You Tube video on fall and wandering prevention device

You Tube video on personal GPS tracking system

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