What is Assistive Technology?

  • Assistive Technology is any piece of equipment that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of students with disabilities. (34 C.F.R. §300.5) Assistive Technology is a product or service used by persons with disabilities to complete a task that otherwise would be too difficult or impossible to complete. When considering Assistive Technology, products and services are both explored to meet the needs of all learners. 
     
    Product
    Assistive Technology Products are used to enhance the functional capabilities of students with disabilities. Assistive Technology Equipment ranges from low to high technology and is considered to make progress towards student progress and independence. 
     
     Assistive Technology can be broken down into 3 different categories:
     
    Low TechnologyDevices without batteries.
    Examples include: highlighters, slant boards, specialize paper, therapy sit balls, sticky notes, magnifiers, magnetic letters,wipe off boards, 
    adaptive scissors and picture schedules.
     
    Mid TechnologyDevices with batteries.
    Examples include: calculators, hand held spell checkers, switches for voice output, switch activated toys, and portable word processors 
     
    High Technology: Devices that can plug into the wall
    Examples include: include computers, laptop, software, scanners, iPads and Powerlink box for switches.
     
    Services
    Assistive Technology Services refers to the services necessary to assess needs and support use of the device or equipment. This is the process of selecting, acquiring, and teaching students how to use the product to access curriculum and make progress towards IEP goals. 
     
    These services include:
    • Evaluation of the needs of the child with a disability.
    • Purchasing, leasing or otherwise providing for the acquisition of the device.
    • Selecting, fitting, customizing, maintaining or repairing the device.
    • Training or technical assistance for a child with a disability.
    • Training or technical assistance for the professionals working with the student.