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.
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 impairment||Examples of assistive devices|
Reading and writing aids
Guidance and mobility aids
Daily activities and domestic chores aids
|Hearing impairment||Examples of assistive devices|
Increasing sound aids
|Mobility impairment||Examples of assistive devices|
Childhood motor skills development aids
Permanent orthosis and prosthesis
Controlling electronic and electric devices with a remote aids
Using computers aids
Daily activities and domestic chores aids
Parental responsibilities aids
|Language impairment||Examples of assistive devices|
Natural-voice improvement aids
Speech or speech replacement
Phone communication aids
|Intellectual impairment||Examples of assistive devices|
Persons with an intellectual impairment can receive other assistive devices if they need it due to an associated physical disability.
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:
- 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 .
Last update: May 9, 2023