Assistive devices programs for persons with a physical or intellectual disability or an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)


An assistive device is a technology that is adapted and specially designed to support, maintain or replace a part of the body or a deficient function. It helps a person correct or compensate for his or her physical or intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Presentation and objectives

Assistive devices maximize individual autonomy, ensure individual safety, keep individuals in their home and facilitate social, educational and professional integration.


Assistive devices programs are reserved for residents of Québec with a physical or intellectual disability or an ASD. These programs allow them to obtain specialized assistive devices selected following an overall assessment of needs. Specific criteria may apply to each of the programs.

Persons with a temporary handicap are not eligible for assistive devices programs.

Assistance covered

Assistive devices are lent and provided by institutions in the health and social services network.

The devices covered by the different assistive devices programs are those essential to the person’s lifestyle. They are selected according to pre-established allocation rules. Assistive devices for leisure and sports activities are not covered by the various assistive devices departmental programs, with the exception of adapted tricyles and adapted bicycles.

As a guide covered by these programs, here is a list of assistive devices (this list is subject to change without notice).

Visual impairmentExamples of assistive devices

Reading and writing aids

  • Braille display
  • Customized calculator
  • Braille embosser
  • Digital player and recorder
  • Specialty lenses
  • Screen reader
  • Magnifying glass
  • Braille typewriter
  • Braille ruler
  • Big-screen monitor
  • Video magnifier
  • Inclined surface to facilitate writing
  • Adapted geometry set

Guidance and mobility aids

  • White cane
  • Electronic obstacle detector

Daily activities and domestic chores aids

  • Adapted plates
  • Adapted knives
  • Liquid level indicator
  • Cheque guide
  • Adapted watch
  • Talking kitchen scale
  • Adapted measuring tape
  • Adapted pedometer (records number of steps)
  • Adapted wallet
  • Adapted alarm clock  
  • Adapted thermometer

Health aids

  • Talking glucometer (monitors blood sugar levels)
  • Talking bathroom scale
  • Syringe holder
Hearing impairmentExamples of assistive devices

Hearing aid

  • Hearing aid

Increasing sound aids

  • Amplifier
  • TV subtitle decoder
  • Baby crying detector
  • Visual or vibro-tactile phone and doorbell ring detector
  • Adapted alarm clock
  • Wireless TV audio listening system
  • Adapted teletypewriter
  • Visual or vibro-tactile fire alarm detector
Mobility impairmentExamples of assistive devices

Walking aids

  • Walker
  • Crutches or canes, in addition to the use of an orthosis or prosthesis of the lower limb
  • Walking frame
  • Quadripod cane (four-legged cane)
  • Moulded orthotic shoes and shoe fittings
  • Mobility assistance dog for pulling

Mobility aids

  • Reclining wheelchair
  • Manual and powered wheelchair (including posture supports)
  • Mobility assistance dog
  • Special-needs stroller
  • Four-wheeled electric scooter
  • Three-wheeled electric scooter

Childhood motor skills development aids

  • Customization of children’s bicycles or tricycles

Permanent orthosis and  prosthesis

  • Upper or lower limb orthosis
  • Upper or lower limb prosthesis

Controlling electronic and electric devices with a remote aids

  • Specialized remote control
  • Environmental control unit (interior lighting system, for example)

Using computers aids

  • Adapted keyboard
  • Adapted mouse
  • Keyboard cover skin
  • On-screen keyboard
  • Head-movement image-controlled computer mouse

Daily activities and domestic chores aids

  • Transfer devices such as a support bar, a transfer disc or board, a lift, a bed trapeze and a self-lifting recliner;
  • Bedroom devices such as protective bed rails, a siderail, an articulated bed and a specialized mattress;
  • Bathroom devices such as a bath seat and a commode chair;
  • Personal care devices such as a long-handled brush and a hairdryer stand;
  • Devices used in the kitchen such as adapted utensils, a server and a wheelchair table;
  • Devices used in different rooms such as a removable access ramp and a Tripp Trapp chair;
  • Signaling devices such as a call button and a wander management system;
  • Devices for the person such as a protective glove and safety helmet;

Parental responsibilities aids

  • Sleep devices such as an adapted playpen or bed
  • Hygiene devices such as an adapted bath or adapted cushion
  • Mobility devices such as an adapted stroller anchor, a cushion, a serving tray or an adapted belt
  • Transfer devices such as a belt or an adapted sling

Elimination aids

  • Adult incontinence briefs
  • Urinary incontinence products
  • Disposable and washable lap pads
  • Urinary catheter
  • Urinary bag
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Urinary catheter straps
  • External catheter
  • Sterile syringes
  • Irrigation solution
  • Gloves
  • Water-soluble lubricant
  • Tracheotomy instruments
Language impairmentExamples of assistive devices

Natural-voice improvement aids

  • Voice amplifier
  • Voice amplifier with equalizer

Speech or speech replacement

  • Communication board
  • Specialized software
  • Pointer

Phone communication aids

  • Adapted phone with switch access
  • Telephone with amplifier
Intellectual impairmentExamples of assistive devices

Safety aids

  • Helmet
  • Wander-management system

Persons with an intellectual impairment can receive other assistive devices if they need it due to an associated physical disability.

Reimbursable expenses

If the request for assistive devices is granted, it will be provided free of charge, or expenses will be reimbursed according to the program terms established by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS) or the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ).

All equipment allocated must be insured by the user. It must be returned when the person is no longer using it or if he or she dies.

You must replace the assistive device loaned to you at your own expense if it has been:

  • Stolen
  • Lost
  • Modified
  • Damaged due to negligence or misuse
  • Broken as a result of a fire or vandalism

A loaned assistive device can be replaced at no cost when an important change affects:

  • the medical condition, such as a deterioration in the person’s health status requiring the use of another type of device;
  • the physical condition, such as weight gain that prevents the person from using the loaned device properly;
  • characteristics of the assistive device:
    • normal wear (the device must be used for a certain time);
    • the cost of repair exceeds the maximum amount allowed.

However, it is not possible to change the loaned assistive device to get a better performing one. The evolution of technology is not a valid reason to request replacement of an assistive device.

Rules for allocating assistive devices

The process for allocating assistive devices starts with an overall assessment. Health professionals recommend assistive devices based on the person’s needs and situation. These recommendations may pertain to:

  • the use of assistive devices to ensure safety during daily activities;
  • learning new strategies to increase functional autonomy;
  • the layout of the home, school or professional environment.


The proposed assistive device will be:

  • the one that allows the person to be autonomous on a daily basis;
  • the one that meets the needs in the simplest possible way;
  • the one that is the most economical when several assistive devices can meet the identified needs.

An assistive device can be recommended for each of your needs identified during the assessment. Where a single assistive device can meet several of your needs, the loan of that particular device will be prioritised.


To enrol in this program, contact your Integrated Health and Social Services Centre (CISSS) or your Integrated University Health and Social Services Centre (CIUSSS). For contact information, consult the following page: Finding Your Integrated Health and Social Services Centre (CISSS) or Your Integrated University Health and Social Services Centre.

You will need to provide a medical certificate relating to the impairment.

Help and information

For assistance, contact the Office des personnes handicapées du Québec This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Last update: May 9, 2023


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