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Assistive Technology

What is Assistive Technology (AT)?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) defines assistive technology as 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 the functional capabilities of children with disabilities. (Section 300.5)

It is our responsibility as educators to provide students with access to the classroom curriculum. A student may require assistive technology in order to successfully access the classroom curriculum The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team must consider the need for assistive technology for every child at every IEP meeting. This occurs when the IEP team discusses if accommodations are educationally necessary. The need for Assistive Technology devices and services are determined and documented within the Special Considerations section of the IEP.

There are a wide range of assistive technology devices and services that a team considers. Some are “low technology.” For example, a pencil grip may be used to assist a student in the improvement of fine motor skills and handwritten communication. Other devices and services are more “high technology” such as text-to-speech software that enables students to access text auditorily. Assistive technology devices and services are modified or customized to meet the needs of the student.

Important links and resources:

Assistive Technology