Most people with disabilities want to work, and view work as an important part of life. Although this can sometimes pose challenges for people with disabilities, there are different types of help that can enable many more people with disabilities to seek out their employment choices.  In some situations, this may involve the help of another person, in some others, the help of technology.

Personal Assistance Services

Some people with disabilities need ongoing care and qualify for the support of a personal assistant.  In Hawaii, people with disabilities enrolled in the Medicaid program are eligible for personal assistance services if the are eligible under certain programs.  It is important to note that working people with disabilities can use their personal assistance services in the workplace. To apply for these programs, you will need to get in touch with  Med-QUEST office or the Vocational Rehabilitation office.

Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology, also called AT, is a tool or machine that helps you live or work more on your own.  Activities that you may not be able to do on your own right now may be possible with assistive technology.  Some tools are complex and would require a commitment from you to learn how to use them.

AT for self-care might include eating and drinking tools, bathing aides or motorized scooters.  Office tasks can be made easier with the use of special software, adjustable desks and chairs, special keyboards and mice, Braille, and reading systems.  AT that helps you talk with others includes speech machines, TTYs (teletypewriters), picture boards, and talking notepads.  AT for learning consists of games, software, tools and tapes that teach reading, writing, and math. Some other examples of AT are:


  • Screen magnifiers
  • Screen readers
  • Video magnifiers
  • Reading systems
  • Braille embossers
  • Braille translation
  • Accessible media players


  • Amplified phones
  • Amplified ringers
  • TTYs
  • Specialized alarms
  • Signal systems
  • Specialized software


  • Voice recognition software
  • Touch screens
  • Head / eye controls
  • Word prediction software
  • Specialized keyboards, mice and other input devices