What is assistive technology?
Assistive technology is any device or service that helps a student with a disability
to meet his or her individualized education program (IEP) goals and to participate
in the general education setting to the greatest possible extent.
Assistive technology improves the functional performance of an individual with a
disability. Students can utilize assistive technology to:
•Perform academic tasks
•Participate in social and extracurricular activities
•Move or travel around the school
•Use proper seating and positioning
Assistive Technology Act
The Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended, addresses the assistive
technology needs of individuals with disabilities, so they can fully participate
in their classrooms, workplaces and communities.
The 2004 amendments to the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 supports State
efforts to improve the provision of assistive technology to individuals with
disabilities through comprehensive statewide programs of technology-related
assistance, for individuals with disabilities of all ages.
The law, formerly known as the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals
with Disabilities Act or “Tech Act,” funds 70 State Assistive Technology
Ergonomic Reacher With Rotating Claw
Hands Free Card Holders
Ez Key Turner
Assistive technology devices and
Door Knob Gripper
Pen And Pencil Cushions
Lamp Switch Enlarger
Pen And Pencil Weights
Neo Bird Freeform Writing Pen
Assistive technology and devices
Big Lamp Switch
Mounted Table Top Scissors
Self Opening Scissors
Wall Switch Extension Handle
Roberts Book Holder
Big Button Universal Remote
Assistive technology for hearing
Bionic ear is an assistive technology that is useful for all students with hearing
impairment. The teacher wears a microphone cuffed to his/her shirt. The student
wears a listening device, which is attached to their ear. Teachers will never have to
scream to get their point across. All students will be able to understand with this
To date, tests have all been done on cadavers, so while researchers know that the
device works (the sound signals are being transmitted to the right parts of the ear and
vibrating the umbo), that doesn’t tell anyone what the experience might be like for
students wearing the device. Tests in living patients are still a few years away.
There is also still some work to be done in enhancing the microphone, which has some
trouble with lower-frequency, quieter sounds. The charger for the device would also
still be external, just as in conventional cochlear implants.
A cochlear implant (CI) may be recommended for someone who has
severe to profound permanent deafness in both ears but who has either
had better hearing in the past or who has always used the hearing they
have left through conventional hearing aids.
The CI system has two parts. The internal electrode array and the
Assistive technology for seeing impaired
A screen magnification system enlarges text and graphics on a computer screen. It is
loaded into the computer’s memory and functions similarly to a magnifying glass
moving over a page, following the cursor, and magnifying the area around it. Using a
mouse or keyboard commands, a user positions the cursor on the section of the
screen to be magnified or has the cursor move automatically across and down a
magnified page at a preset speed. The magnified area may also be emphasized with
color and shading, so that users who lose their place on screen may easily locate a
magnified area. Fonts used in magnification programs are usually designed to smooth
out the jagged or “stair-step” appearance of computer-produced diagonal or curved
lines. Today’s full-featured screen magnifiers can magnify all items on a screen,
including the mouse pointer, text cursor, icons, buttons, and title bars. The magnifiers
also provide a set of mouse tracking features.
Persons with considerable vision may not need a screen magnification program.
Instead, they may use a larger monitor that allows for larger text or graphics while
keeping all material on the screen. Larger text and graphics can be achieved by
lowering the screen resolution so that bigger pixels are used.
Braille is a series of raised dots that can be read with the fingers by people who
are blind or whose eyesight is not sufficient for reading printed material.
Teachers, parents, and others who are not visually impaired ordinarily read
braille with their eyes. Braille is not a language. Rather, it is a code by which
languages such as English or Spanish may be written and read.
Assistive technology for learning
Recorded books allow users to listen to text and are available in a variety
of formats, such as audiocassettes, CDs, and MP3 downloads. Special
playback units allow users to and search and bookmark pages and
chapters. Subscription services offer extensive electronic library
collections. This type of tool may help people who struggle with: reading.
The Maestro may be appropriate for people who:
•Are unable to meet their needs and express their opinions using
speech, gestures, or body language.
•Are learning language, literacy, communication, and social skills.
•Have age appropriate language, literacy, communication, and social
•Would like a lightweight and stylish device with speakers that can be
heard in a crowded room.
•Are looking for a device that comes standard with a camera, Wi-Fi and
•Can use the touch screen to operate a communication device.
•Require an alternate method, including eye gaze* and scanning, to
effectively and efficiently operate a device.http://www.nild.net/
Assistive technology for the physically
The Rifton Toddler chair is designed to encourage
normal, active sitting posture. With adjustments for
varying degrees of abduction and knee flexion, as well as
optional support and positioning accessories, the Toddler
activity chair is designed for use in speech and language
therapy to aid in completion of tasks requiring focus and
Switch Access – For Individuals with limited physical access. If an
individual can consistently move one part of their body, their chin, a
finger, a knee, a toe, their head etc., they can use an adapted switch to
access the computer, an iPad, an AAC device for communicating, and
other devices such as a phone or appliances. Scanning software may be
utilized with the switch for access. Switches can also be utilized for
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Programs. Retrieved September 1, 2013, from http://www.ataporg.org/legislative.html.
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Top 10 List. (2013). Top 10 Assistive Technologies. Retrieved September 1, 2013, from http://top-10-
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