By Robin Thompson
University of West Alabama
What Is Assistive Technology?
Assistive technology is a term used to describe
devices or services that help individuals with
disabilities obtain a free appropriate education.
Assistive Technology Law
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires a school district to provide a “free
appropriate public education” (FAPE) to disabled individuals who is in the school
district’s jurisdiction, regardless of the severity of the person’s disability.
An appropriate education includes regular and special education and any services or aids
needed to accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that schools are
responsible for providing assistive technology devices and services to students with
Who Can Benefit From Assistive
Students who are:
Hearing Assistive Technology
(HATS) for Children
FM systems help amplify sounds.
They allow students to hear the teacher’s voice at an
appropriate and constant level.
Vision Assistive Technology
These products allow students to enlarge the size of images
Some screen magnifiers permit the user to change the
default colors of the display.
Learning Assistive Technology
Allows a student to scan
printed material into a
computer or handheld unit.
The scanned text is then read
aloud via a speech
This is especially helpful for
students who struggle with a
Optical Character Recognition
Assistive Technology For Physically Disabled
Designed for users with
physical disabilities who
cannot use a standard
Small keyboards for
students with limited
range of motion
One handed keyboards
for students who type
with only one hand
National Institute on Deafness and Other
Future of Children.org
References Cengage Learning (2015). Figure 4: WinMini keyboard. Retrieved from
Google Images. (n.d.) Retrieved from www.google.com/images.
Lily Walters (n.d.) Figure 5: One handed Keyboard. Retrieved from http://www.onehandedkeyboard.com/maltron.html
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (December 2011). Assistive devices for people with
hearing, voice, speech, or language disorders. Retrieved from http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/pages/assistive-
Online OCR (n.d.) Figure 3: Optical Character Recognition. Retrieved from products.softsolutionslimited.com
Raskind, M. H. (2000). Assistive technology for children with learning disabilities. Bridges to Reading, 2nd Edition. San
Mateo, CA: Schwab Foundation for Learning. Retrieved from http://frostig.org/
RL and Associates. (n.d.) Figure 2: Portable Video Magnifier. Retrieved from www.rla.com
Senses Australia. (n.d.). Figure 1: Diagram Inspiro FM System. Retrieved from www.deafblindinformation.org.au
The Iris Center. Assistive Technology Module (n.d.). Retrieved from
U.S. Department of Education (2010). Free Appropriate Public Education for Students With Disabilities: Requirements
Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Retrieved from