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Assistive Technology Basics


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PowerPoint presentation for the Assistive Technology Seminar for Block II teacher candidates of Frostburg State University.

Prepared by Jenna Epstein
Edited by Minnie Ladores
References are provided on the last slide of the presentation

Published in: Education, Technology
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Assistive Technology Basics

  2. 2. What is Assistive Technology? <br />Assistive technology has come into the public consciousness not only because of its practicality but also as a result of federal legislation. <br />The law ensures that students with disabilities are to be provided appropriate modifications that ameliorate their disability. These modifications (assistive technologies) are provided for free.<br />Federal law divides assistive technology into two component parts:<br />Assistive Technology Devices <br />Assistive Technology Services<br />
  3. 3. Assistive Technology Device<br />The term assistive technology device means 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 functional capabilities of a person with a disability.<br />
  4. 4. The Meaning of “Any”<br />Anything can be called “assistive technology” if it is “used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.” <br />Any item that you might find in a typical classroom can be considered assistive technology if it used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a student with a disability. <br />
  5. 5. The Meaning of “Accessible”<br />The Assistive Technology Act of 2004 includes two little words that are easy to miss: “access to.”<br />The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-446) states that assistive technology services and devices are used to “maximize accessibility for children with disabilities.” <br />For example, the teacher moves a child from the back to the front of the room so that they can see the board; providing the student “access to” an appropriate education.<br />
  6. 6. Low Tech Tools<br />Tools that fall into this category function without electricity.<br />Examples:<br />Slant board, chalk, highlighter, pencil grip, schedule, calendar, sticky notes, footrest, picture book, symbols, or index cards<br />
  7. 7. Mid-Tech Tools<br />Tools in this category use batteries or have some basic circuitry <br />Examples:<br />Lights, buzzers, vibrating switches, touch windows, environmental control units, portable word processors, or static display communication devices.<br />
  8. 8. High Tech Tools<br />The tools in this category may use batteries, but they also have some advanced circuitry involved.<br />Examples:<br />Computers, software, dynamic display communication devices, or electronic portable desktop assistants.<br />
  9. 9. Assistive Technology Services<br />The term assistive technology service means any service that directly assists a person with a disability to select, acquire, or use an assistive device. <br />Almost 30 years of research and experience has demonstrated that the education persons with disabilities can be made more effective by supporting the 1) development and 2) use of technology, devices and services<br />Federal funds may be used to support the use of technology, to maximize access to general education curriculum.<br />
  10. 10. Services include: <br /><ul><li>Evaluation of a child’s needs, including looking at what they do on a daily basis.
  11. 11. Assistive technology devices (including purchase, lease, etc.)
  12. 12. Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing said device.
  13. 13. Coordinating and using other therapies, services, or devices.
  14. 14. Training or technical assistance for the child, and perhaps, </li></ul>The family of such a child.<br /><ul><li>Training or technical assistance for the child’s teachers or other service providers who are substantially involved in the “major life functions” of the child.</li></li></ul><li>Assistive Technology and the Law<br />The Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988, “Tech Act of 1988”<br /> This law provided funding for states to develop consumer information and training programs that were designed to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities. This law defined “assistive technology services” and “assistive technology devices.” It provided grants to states to support systems change and advocacy activities related to statewide programs of technology-related assistance for individuals with disabilities. <br />Telecommunications Act of 1996<br /> This act provided provisions for all classrooms and libraries to connections to the information superhighway by the year 2000. This act and its guidelines provided a foundation for ensuring that technology become accessible to all students.<br />Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 1998, “Perkins Act”<br /> Provided individuals with academic and technical skills for success in a knowledge and skills economy. Activities supported by this act include access to career and technical education for students with disabilities and the purchase of equipment to ensure access to the latest technology. Funds provided are allocated to both secondary and postsecondary schools. <br />Assistive Technology Act of 1998<br /> The Tech act of 1988 was replaced by this act whose purpose was to support programs and grants to states to help them address the technology needs of individuals with disabilities. This law offered grants to provide assistance to states in maintaining statewide technology-related assistance programs. It also provided for research that incorporated assistive technology use with the Universal Design for Learning.<br />
  15. 15. Assistive Technology and the Law<br />Assistive Technology Act of 2004<br /> This act provided direct aid to individuals with disabilities. It redefined the purpose of the Assistive Technology Act of 1988 to focus on the delivery rather than the development of Assistive Technologies. This act also required states to continually evaluate the effectiveness of their programs. <br />Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (EHA)<br /> This act ensured that all students with disabilities had access to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), meaning all children with disabilities have available special education and related services to meet their unique needs. This act was reauthorized in 1986 and now included infants and toddlers, and families, as eligible for services. <br />Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990<br /> The EHA was again reauthorized in 1990 and its name was changed to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Amendments added autism and traumatic brain injury as disability categories. IEP’s now included transition plans for each student in which assistive technology devices were considered as part of the student’s success as a learner.<br />Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997<br /> This reauthorization of IDEA stressed Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports (PBIS) to address issues of student behavior and how behavior is related to learning. IDEA also addressed the participation of students with disabilities in district and state testing and the general education curriculum. <br />
  16. 16. Assistive Technology and the Law<br />Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004<br /> IDEA was reauthorized in 2004. The term Universal Design for Learning (UDL) was introduced which is a philosophy for designing and delivering products and services with the widest ranges of functional capabilities. Both the use of assistive technology and the concept of UDL must be considerations addressed in a student’s IEP. <br />Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973<br /> This section required that reasonable access be required for individuals with disabilities. It guaranteed public access to all public buildings including schools. Section 504 extends access to all individuals with disabilities, instead of just school-aged children. <br />Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)<br /> This act prohibited discrimination in employment and in transportation, and provided access for public accommodations and telecommunications. ADA required that relay services are offered for the deaf and the speech impaired so that they can use telecommunication services. <br />No Child Left Behind Act of 2001<br /> This act has four major principles: accountability, options for parents, local control and flexibility in the use of federal funds, and emphasis on best practices. Because students with disabilities are expected to become proficient in subject matter, assistive technology will provide access for them to be successful learners in the general education classroom.<br />
  17. 17. References<br />Beard, L, Carpenter, L. & Johnston, L. (2011). Assistive technology: Access for all students, 2nd ed. Pearson Education.<br />Bugaj, C. & Norton-Darr, S. (2010). The practical (and fun) guide to assistive technology in public schools: Building and improving your district’s AT team. Eugene, OR: International Association of Technology in Education.<br />