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Assistive technology

Assistive technology 

Young boy in assistive chair

An important goal for every parent is to help their child live as independently as possible, which includes helping them find the best technology to interact and communicate with their community. Our assistive technology program helps do just that, as we match people of all ages with the right equipment, enabling children and adults with disabilities to function more independently. We’re the only comprehensive AT program in central Virginia with a large a library of devices and equipment, coupled with provider who have specialty training and extensive experience. 

Understanding the range of AT equipment that could aid your child is just a first step. For example, your child might benefit from lite-tech options, such as picture schedules, and low-tech switches – or may be in need of high-tech communication and wheelchair systems. This specialized technology enables people to function independently in areas where they would otherwise have difficulty, need assistance or be unable to participate. AT equipment can open doors to independence for people with neuromuscular and developmental disabilities, including apraxia, autism, brain and spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and stroke. 

Toddler in assistive cart

Technology to build independence 

With AT experts in speech, occupational and physical therapy, our team focuses on your child’s strengths and challenges, allowing us to recommend and introduce the best equipment to increase their independence. We work with families and caregivers during both the evaluation and follow-up sessions to develop child-specific plans on how to best use equipment – including in the home and at school, as well as in work and community settings. 

The AT lab offers evaluations and training services for: 

  • Alternative drive controls 
  • Assistive daily living aids 
  • Augmentative communication 
  • Computer access and adaptations 
  • Computer software evaluations 
  • Electronic aids to daily living 
  • Environmental controls 
  • Positioning aids 
  • Wheelchairs and customized seating 

Our evaluations are an important first step, but your child likely will not leave that first appointment with a prescribed device. An important additional step that our team navigates is pursuing insurance approval. 

Alternative drive control  l  Facebook Live 

Family plays an important role 

We know that families can give their children a voice, by helping us understand communication goals. We also work hand-in-hand with our patients to find out what they like and what motivates them, as technology opens up new tools for independence. What works for one child and family might not be the best fit for another. Ultimately, we prepare families and caregivers how to support their child and understand AT devices. 

We work with children and adults with a range of conditions, including developmental disabilities. We also help those of all ages navigate physical disabilities, such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy. 

Alternative drive control 

We help match your child with the right wheelchair drive controls to gain new levels of independence. 

Augmentative and alternative communication 

Children with severe speech or language disorders can find the right tools to share their voice. 

Why choose CHoR? 

In addition to extensive training, our specialists are leaders in AT. We regularly present at local, state and national conferences. In 2017, our team received the McLean Yoder Award for Professional Excellence, an annual accolade recognizing service to individuals with severe disabilities. We also offer an AT symposium geared toward educating other professionals on AT insights for children and adults across the lifespan.  


We receive a majority of AT referrals from physicians, school systems and employers, but families can also make a self-referral. Call 804-228-5985 to register. We’ll send you an intake packet to complete. We need important information including medical and educational history, as well as applicable home, school and work environments. Evaluations are based out of the Brook Road Campus, but treatment is also available at our therapy centers.  

This program is accredited by The Joint Commission as part of an ambulatory survey process. 


Meet the team

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Samantha K Burch, MEd, CCC-SLP
Samantha Burch MEd, CCC-SLP Speech therapy
Assistive technology
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Michelle L Froede, DPT
Michelle Froede DPT Physical therapy
Assistive technology
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Andrea Ralston Harris, MOT
Andrea Harris MOT Occupational therapy
Assistive technology
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