What is Assistive Technology?

  • The Federal Law known as public law 108-446, entitled the ‘Improvement Act of 2004′ or the ‘Individuals with Disabilities Education Act’ (IDEA) defines an assistive technology device 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 a child with a disability. The term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of that device.

    IDEA also defines assistive technology services as; any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.

    ….Assistive technology is any tool that can be purchased, modified, or created that helps a student to access their education. Assistive technology is available in any setting and academic area of study, including reading, math, studying, organization, executive functioning, writing, notetaking, communication, computer access, access to materials, and aids for daily living. AT tools range from a simple, low-tech device (such as a pencil grip), to a complex, high-tech device (such as a dynamic display communication system).