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Article: Guide to Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology in Education

Table of Contents
  1. General Product Information
  2. Assistive Technology in Education
  3. Assistive Technology in the Workplace
  4. Computer Accessibility
  5. Funding Assistive Technology
  6. Tools for Persons who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
  7. Tools for Persons who are Blind or Visually Impaired
  8. Mobility
  9. Speech and Language Tools

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), every child has a right to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (also known as FAPE). In order to comply with this act, students with disabilities receive special help, extra services and assistive technology.

New for 2017, an enhanced website has been launched at https://sites.ed.gov/idea/.  The site houses the most current Federal information on Policy & Law, Grants and Resources. 

School districts must provide assistive technology tools for students who need them. After a child's needs are assessed, assistive technology tools may be included in a student's Individualized Education Program (IEP). Every child who receives special services has an IEP. The IEP is created by a team which is involved in the child's educational plan [see Individualized Education Program]. A variety of high-tech and low-tech tools are available to help students in school. Additionally, equipment or supplies already in the classroom are changed to make them easier to use. Assistive technology tools help students with studying, reading, writing, and social skills. A wide-range of software, communication tools and computers, books with large print and special keyboards can be included in the plan.

There are many things to consider when determining what the best technology is for your child. Many assistive technology tools go unused by students because they are not helpful. It may also happen that the assistive technology device chosen for a student does not work as it was meant to work. If this is the case, the IEP team should meet again and talk about which assistive devices would be more appropriate.

The Department of Education in each state has federal funds to pay for assistive technology. Often, this federal money is combined with state funds. Each school district receives a limited amount for their assistive technology needs. If state funds do not meet the needs of the school district, Medicaid and private insurance will sometimes pay for assistive technology.

Assistive Technology for Students with Disabilities
Learn how assistive technology can benefit a child with a learning disability and how assistive technology tools can play to their strengths and work around their challenges.

Assistive Technology Assessment: More than the Device
This article contains information on how to determine the needs of students with disabilities. It suggests assistive technology would help students function better in school.

RESNA University Programs
The RESNA website provides a listing of various academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels that specialize in or have a specific focus in rehabilitation engineering and/or assistive technology..

What Happens When Assistive Technology Doesn't Work? The Need for an Integrated Approach
This article discusses how to re-evaluate a student's assistive technology needs. The information found here is also useful when conducting an initial evaluation of a student.

Assistive Technology and Augmentative Communication
This article explains how to make changes to classroom equipment so that students with disabilities can use them.

Infinitec: All Learners
Go to this site to access articles on technology tools for students with special needs. There is also an article on text reader technology for the classroom.

University Of Washington Center For Technology And Disability Studies
Learn about different ways to pay for assistive technology by going to this University of Washington web site.

United States Department of Education
The United States Department of Education sponsors this site. It lists assistive technology resources provided through this department.

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Last Updated on 8/22/2017

Friday, January 17, 2020