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Assistive Technology

Our Assistive Technology (AT) Specialist examines and identifies student needs in the following areas: computer access, reading, writing, math, learning & studying, communication, hearing, vision, mobility, seating & positioning, environmental control, and recreation & leisure. Once student needs have been identified, our AT Specialist ensures that each student has the proper supports and tools they need to access the curricula. These tools range from iPads and communication devices to special keyboards, mice and remote controls.

Our AT Specialist completes evaluations and consultations, coordinates the acquisition of assistive technology, integrates technology into classrooms and learning environments, provides key training to students and their teams, and provides technical assistance.

Our AT Specialist ensures that students with physical disabilities can better navigate our community, employing tools such as ramps, automatic door openers and Braille signs.

Background Information

Assistive technology devices and services were first defined in federal law in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-476). These definitions remained unchanged until 2004 with the passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (Public Law 108-446) when an exemption to the definition of an assistive technology device was added to clarify a school system’s responsibility to provide surgically implanted technology such as cochlear implants.

Assistive Technology Device: Assistive technology devices are identified in the IDEA 2004 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. The term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such device. (Authority 20 U.S.C. 1401(1))

Although the IDEA uses the term “device”, it is important to recognize that assistive technology devices required by students with disabilities include hardware and software as well as stand-alone devices.