What is Assistive Technology?

Assistive Technology (AT) is a way to make it easier or possible to do the things that are important to you. AT helps maintain or improve the ability of people with disabilities and older adults to be full participants in everyday life. AT devices can be as simple as a built-up handle on a pencil or as complex as custom computer hardware and software. AT can help you use your phone, unlock your door from across the room, operate your computer using just your voice or a single switch, or type faster using only one hand.

Using Siri

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you might have played around with Siri but it probably does more than you know. Are you taking advantage of the ways it can help make your device easier to use? The keys are understanding what it can do and practicing enough so that Siri is your go to method for common tasks (it really won’t take long). My experience is that it works better for tasks that are built into your device compared to general internet searches. Pick a few things that you do often and give Siri a chance to help you out. These are just a few examples; don't be afraid to try others!


Call Susan Smith at work

Call 517 592 5555

Call my parents/wife/sister

Call my wife at home

(Siri will prompt you to set up these relationships if you haven’t already)

App Launching

Launch Photos

Open Facebook


Email Dad about the dinner tomorrow

New email to Susan Conway

Email Bob and say I got the message thanks

Any new email from Jimmy?

Show me email from Susan yesterday

To read a specific message: Open an email, say “Read it”

Read email about ______

Read email from _____

Siri will read messages including the date/time, who it's from, and Subject line. The message will not be visible while reading it. Siri will ask if you want to reply and give you a chance to dictate your answer. Press the Home button and it will take you back to the open message.


Set up a meeting for tomorrow at 9

Move my 3pm meeting to 4:30

Set up a meeting with Jeff at 9 tomorrow morning

Cancel the budget meeting

Add Emily to my meeting with Brian

When is my next appointment?

What does the rest of my day look like?

What day is it?

Messages (Texting)

Tell Robert I am on my way

Send a message to Mike Jones

Send a message to Susan saying how about tomorrow

Text Mom I will be late


How do I get to Bob Smith’s office?

Find a Mexican restaurant nearby

Give me directions home

Directions from Brooklyn to Ann Arbor

Get me walking directions to Emily’s house

What’s my ETA?

Find me a gas station

Cancel Navigation


Tweet That was a great game

Tweet with my location hanging with Tom and Bill

Show me my tweets

Search Twitter for Detroit Tigers


Post on Facebook just landed in Detroit

Write on my wall heading to Anchorman 2


Remind me to buy milk when I leave work*

Add eggs to my grocery list

Remind me to take my meds at 6pm

Remind me to call mom when I get home*

*Requires Location Services to be on and you have to disable reminder sync on your exchange account and switch your default reminder list in settings to Reminders.


Set an alarm for 6am tomorrow

Wake me up in 45 minutes

Turn off my 6am alarm

Turn off all my alarms

Change my 6am alarm to 7am


What’s the weather like tomorrow?

What is the weather in Chicago like?

When do the Giants play next?

What planes are above me right now?

iPhone Settings

Turn on/off Bluetooth

Change the font size

Adjust the screen brightness

Edit Safari settings

AT Tip of the Month

Do you know all of the things Siri can help with on your iPhone? Learn about the available commands.

MIS Cares AT Grant

Region 2 Receives Grant from MIS Cares for AT Classes. Click to learn more about the classes.

Additional Resources

Looking for more information on AT or how to find someone who can help you in your area?

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