Assistive Technology (AT) is used for individuals with special needs to perform everyday activities from communicating, eating, playing, reading, writing, and working on a computer.
Assistive Technology Devices are identified in the IDEA 2004 legislation 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 that device.
(Authority 20 U.S.C. 1401(1))
Assistive Technology Categories
Assistive Technology is divided into different categories including but limited to: Academic/Learning Supports, Aids for Daily Living (ADL’s), Assisted Listening Devices, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Computer Access, Environmental Controls (ECU), Mobility Aids, Recreation, Seating and Positioning, Vision.
As defined in IDEA, an AT service is:
Any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, and use of an AT device. The term includes:
- The evaluation of the needs of a child with a disability, including a functional evaluation of the child in the child’s customary environment;
- Purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by children with disabilities;
- Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, retaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology devices;
- Coordinating and use other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as those associated with existing education and rehabilitation plans and programs;
- Training or technical assistance for a child with a disability or, if appropriate, that child’s family;
- Training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals or rehabilitation services), employers, or other individuals who provide services to employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of children with disabilities.
(Authority 20 U.S.C. 1401(2))