Center for Applied Rehabilitation Technology (CART)
The Center for Applied Rehabilitation Technology (CART) opened in 1989 to help children and adults with disabilities lead more independent lives through the use of assistive technology solutions. Assistive technology enables individuals with disabilities to participate more fully in everyday activities at home, school, work, and in the community. An interdisciplinary team of experts consisting of occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech pathology and a rehabilitation engineer are available to address one or more of the following technology areas: seating and mobility, augmentative and alternative communication, environmental control, access to computers and/or mobile devices, adaptive gaming, low vision assistive technology and worksite/ergonomic evaluations. The experienced CART consultants work together with clients and caregivers to ensure that individuals have the opportunity to test different solutions and find optimal and seamless methods to meet their individual goals.
Clients Served: Clients of any age who have a physical disability are eligible for services (CART serves individuals experiencing cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, stroke, and progressive neuromuscular diseases such as ALS, among other diagnoses.) Clients may have multiple and/or severe disabilities and may benefit from an integrated approach to meet one or multiple technology needs.
Equipment Loan Program: A loan library of assistive technologies is available through CART. This program provides individuals with opportunities to borrow equipment for short term use in the home and community to better determine what will work best for them.
Technology Solutions at CART
Seating and Mobility: Optimal positioning supports better function and is often the first step in determining access to other technologies such as power mobility controls, communication devices, computers, and mobile devices. A variety of cushions, posture positioning systems, wheelchairs, and other mobility devices are evaluated to provide the most stable position.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC): Individuals with severe speech impairments often benefit from the use AAC approaches. The team at CART promotes successful communication by finding the best match between individual need and available system functionality. Individuals may access devices in a range of ways from pointing with their hands, to using switches, head mouse, or eye gaze. Many types of systems are available ranging from communication booklets containing pictures to applications, tablets and devices generating speech output.
Access to Computer and Mobile Devices: Software and hardware adaptations are available to assist individuals in accessing and using computers and mobile devices. Adaptations may include wheelchair or desktop phone or tablet mounts, modified keyboards, switch access, mouse emulators, head or eye tracking, and voice recognition.
Worksite Evaluations: Individual concerns related to performing current or potential work activities are evaluated. Environmental factors such as accessibility and workspace configuration are considered, along with ergonomic principles and equipment.
Environmental Control: Technologies such as smart speakers and mobile devices are used to control many devices including operating lights, TV, thermostats, sound systems for playing music and news, making phone calls, and other functions. Systems are accessed through voice or other modalities. The Model Home allows for demonstration of a wide range of devices and universal design principles to promote increased independence in the home and office.
Low Vision Assistive Devices: Low vision refers to vision loss that cannot be corrected by eye glasses or medical treatment. Use of low vision assistive aids, such as magnifiers, lighting, and digital aids, can help individuals continue to independently participate in important daily activities. In the Model Home individuals can experience using this assistive equipment while doing daily tasks in a home environment.
Model Home: Our Model Home showcases a wide range of assistive technology solutions. Commercially available products paired with universal design principles are used to create an accessible kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living area, using “smart” technology and common aids to daily living.
Adaptive Gaming: Individuals who have difficulty using standard controls on gaming consoles, mobile devices, and computers have options which will allow them to have access to these platforms. Adaptations range from commercially available solutions to customized tools via 3d printing through CART’s partner program the Rancho Emerging Tech Lab. www.ranchoemergingtechlab.org.
Referrals and Appointments:
To initiate a referral, call (562) 385-6800 during business hours, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. You may also visit CART’s website at www.cartla.org to get more information and download intake forms. You may be contacted to provide additional information needed prior to scheduling an appointment. Insurance coverage will be verified before scheduling.
If you have any questions regarding services, the referral process or other matters, please feel free to visit the CART website at: www.cartla.org or contact us at:
Center for Applied Rehabilitation Technology
Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center
7601 Imperial Highway
Downey, California 90242
Phone: (562) 385-6800
Fax: (562) 803-8892