Devices Offering Great Solutions (DOGS)

Adaptive Art

Tools for making art

What does it do?

There are tools that help make art activities accessible.  Whether a person has visual, cognitive, or motor needs, adaptive art tools can help them participate.  Art is a great way to express yourself and have fun!

Many artists are creative with their adaptive tools.  Some use special grips to hold their paintbrushes; others attach a brush to a hat and paint by moving their head!  Materials and tools can be used in different ways for all artists to create.

What kinds of adaptive art tools are there?

  • Grips for paintbrushes, drawing and coloring tools
  • Daubers and rollers for paint
  • Finger paints
  • No-spill paint containers
  • Dot markers or paints
  • Jumbo or specialty shaped crayons
  • Modified easels
  • Stamps and textured rollers
  • Wheelchair accessible potter’s wheels
  • Adapted scissors and other tools
  • Tracers

Other Tips

  • Stabilizers or tremor cancellation devices can help with fine motor tasks.
  • Magnification can assist with detailed work such as sewing and needlecrafts.
  • Tools can be attached to different areas of the body (like using a hat or head pointer).
  • Tools can be attached to wheelchairs, walkers, and other mobility aids to create larger works. Artists can also create using gross motor movements!

Related Apps

Coloring apps are available for download on smartphones and tablets.

Close up of a hand holding a paint roller over colorful canvas.

How do I see what's new?

Technology changes all the time. To find out about the latest options for these, you can type keywords into a search engine such as Google, Safari, Firefox, or Bing on a computer or tablet. These are the keywords for this type of item:

adaptive art, assistive art tools, art therapy

How do I find out more?

If you live in the US outside of Pennsylvania you would need to find your state's AT program.

If you live in Pennsylvania:

  • you could contact TechOWL to work with a specialist. We can meet with you and sometimes demonstrate this equipment. We can also help with different ways to get one for your own.
  • you might borrow this equipment to try out. Do we have this in our lending library?


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Hali Strickler

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