If you’d like to receive our bonuses on assistive technology, please visit http://tensigma.org/episode48bonus.
When speaking in general terms, assistive technology means using devices for people with disabilities and it also includes the process of selecting, locating, and using these devices. According to IDEA 2004, “Each public agency must ensure that assistive technology devices or assistive technology services or both are made available to a child with a disability if required as part of the child’s: Special education related services or supplementary aids and service AND on a case-by-case basis, the use of school purchased assistive technology devices in a child’s home or in other settings is required if the child’s IEP team determines that the child needs access to the devices in order to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE).”
IDEA 2004 also defines an assistive technology device as any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially of the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a child with a disability. Exception: Medical devices that are surgically implanted or the replacement of such devices. IDEA 2004 also defines assistive technology service as any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of assistive technology device.
Assistive technology services include:
• An evaluation of the child’s needs
• Purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices for the child
• Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology devices
• Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices
• Training or technical assistance for the child and family when appropriate
• Training or technical assistance for professionals
There are many ways that teachers can include assistive technology in the classroom using low and high tech items. Examples of low tech assistive technology include pencil grips, slant boards, weighted vests, timers, colored overlays, chalkboards, and Velcro picture calendars. Some examples of high tech assistive technology devices include touch screens, software, apps, screen enlargers, the Big Red Switch, wands/sticks, audio books, text to speech, and audio note taker.
Because technology is constantly being improved, it can be difficult for teachers to keep up-to-date on technology which is why it is important to work with specialized staff such as occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, audiologists, and tech person in a school. These professionals can assist in providing suggestions and/or training on new technology resources.
As a bonus for each episode of Transition Tuesday, we provide resources and tools to help implement the topics we cover. This week, we are sharing a pdf which contains two important assistive technology resources.
To learn more about educational resources for teachers or parents, please visit our website http://tensigma.org and you can also connect with us on social media at
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If you know anyone else who would benefit from the information we share in these videos, please share this video or send them to http://transitiontuesday.org so they can access to our weekly trainings and bonus resources.
We hope you use this information and the bonuses on assistive technology to help students with disabilities.