What is assistive technology?
A device, software, product, and/or service required for a person with a disability to do a task that would otherwise not be possible.
What is an assistive technology device?
"Any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with a disability" (Tech Act, 1998) — may be as simple as a pencil grip, or as complicated as an adaptive computer system.
What is an assistive technology service?
Any service that directly helps a child with a disability in choosing, getting, or using an assistive technology device.
Assistive technology services include:
- Working with a student's team to generate solutions
- Screening to determine the needs of a student with a disability
- Identifying appropriate assistive technology devices
- Maintaining assistive devices in good working order
- Training students to use required technology
- Training the family of a student and professionals who work with a student with a disability
- Conducts needs assessments
- Makes suggestions which may help students write, speak, listen, read, and study in school
- Finds assistive technology that students with disabilities need to reach educational goals
When to refer a student for an assistive technology screening*
- When the needs of a student with a disability have not been met with current strategies and accommodations
- When the speech/language skills of a student with a disability are not developed enough to be able to let others know his/her needs and ideas
- When a student's disability makes it difficult to use regular school tools and materials
* A student with a current IEP or 504 Plan whose disability appears to prevent successful participation in classroom learning activities is a candidate for Assistive Technology.