Specialized technological tools and techniques vary in their complexity and the degree to which they require adaptation or programming. They are particularly helpful for tasks that:
- are time dependent;
- must be completed by following a sequence of specific steps;
- require interactive communication; or
- require recall and management of information and schedules.
Whenever possible, the MATCP uses tools and techniques that are readily available, without modification. These devices include alphanumeric messaging systems, two-way pagers, cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDA), web-enabled messaging systems, electronic recording devices, and digitizing notepads.
At the least intensive level of intervention, it is often possible for a referred person to learn the standard applications that come with a PDA or other device. When combined with an organizational strategy recommended by the MATCP, these standard applications and devices are often sufficient to meet the referred person's needs. The MATCP may also recommend specially adapted software, such as word processing or money management programs, that can be used on standard devices.
At the most intensive level of intervention, activity guidance systems may be developed, including interactive web-based cueing systems. These interventions typically require ongoing involvement from MATCP staff, who work closely with the referred person, family members and caretakers to set-up training programs and monitoring systems. In these cases, the specific interventions and monitoring systems are highly individualized, taking into account the clinical needs of the referred person, as well as constraints on available family time, technical capability and concrete resources.