SARA-t: Assistive Devices Facility for Technology supported Rehabilitation

Communication and Interaction Empowerment

SARA-t is a specialized Unit of the Santa Lucia Foundation for the use of technologies that increase the patients possibilities of communication and interaction with the physical environment. It consists of a multidisciplinary team of medical specialists, bioengineers and therapists focused on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (CAA).


Technologies and objectives of SARA-t

As part of occupational therapy, which helps the disabled person to regain capacity in many areas of daily life, SARA-t is focused on high-tech tools. These tools allow the team to strengthen the powers of the disabled person in the following areas:

  • use of computers and other electronic devices
  • use of technologies for Alternative Augmentative Communication (CAA), which allow communication with other people even in the absence of faculties necessary to formulate words and the movement skills necessary to express thoughts and needs in writing or by keyboard
  • use of technology for learning, work and leisure
  • use of automation technologies, which allow the electronic control of the environments and domestic activities, such as opening doors, turning on and off lights, the operation of appliances, even in the absence of ability of movement (domotic)


The SARA-t Path

Evaluation. The specialists of SARA-t assess communication skills and movement available to the patient, identify appropriate technological tools that strengthen the capacity for action and communication and then develop training programs to best utilize these tools. In the evaluation are involved doctors and other health personnel as well as families, and caregivers. The individual patient assessment is based on the needs and potential of patient as well as the family and caregivers. The evaluation considers both the environmental conditions and the patient rehabilitation plan. At the conclusion of the evaluation a report is provided with details on technological aids recommended to the patient and advice on their use.

Intervention phase. It is divided into two phases: the preparatory path and the solution or use path.

The Preparatory Path is recommended during the evaluation phase to demonstrate the need to start a project of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (CAA) or other environmental interaction. Initially there is no use of advanced technological tools.

The Solution Path contemplates adapting technological tools that best meet the particular patient needs identified during the evaluation and preparatory path. It involves training in the use of the recommended technical tools and includes family members or caregivers. A final written assessment on the recommended training program is provided.



The time taken to complete a course of training at SARA-t is custom to the patient and must be determined subsequent to evaluation and depend on variables such as the degree of complexity of the needs of the patient and responsiveness to stimulation. The initial evaluation phase is completed typically in two 60 minutes sessions. The Preparatory Path provides an average of five meetings of 60 minutes each and can be performed on a weekly or monthly basis. The Solution Path typically involves three meetings of 60 minutes each (maximum. 5 meetings). Meetings can be also scheduled on accelerated basis.

How to Access SARA-t

Patients admitted pursuant to the National Health Service (SSN) and private patients of the Hospital of Santa Lucia Foundation on an inpatient, day hospital and extensive outpatient rehabilitation basis have access to the services offered by SARA-t without additional cost. The prescription of a medical specialist in the Operating Unit that is in charge of the patient is required. Outpatients may access it privately, by contacting the Hospital Admissions Office. Activities of SARA-t don’t require hospitalization and are scheduled together with the patient.


Admissions Office for Outpatient

Via Ardeatina, 306 – 00179 Rome

Tel. +39 06.5150.1422 / -1424 / -1425

Fax +39 06.5032.097

Monday to Friday, 08:30 - 13:00, 14:00 - 17:30; Saturday, 08:30 - 12:30

Attention, please: The access to SARA-t by inpatients of Santa Lucia Hospital (hospitalization, day hospital and extensive rehabilitation) requires the prescription of a medical specialist in the Operative Unit that is in charge of the patient.


Here are listed the costs of treatment for patients who haven’t free access to SARA-t (see the section “How To Access” in this page).

  • Multidisciplinary assessment (2 meetings): 280 €
  • Solution Path (max. 5 meetings): 420 €
  • Preparatory Path (5 meetings): 250 €
  • Additional consulting (per meeting): 100 €

Via Ardeatina, 306 – 00179 Rome

Hospital – Floor 2

Tel. +39 06.5150.1166