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 the functional capabilities of a child with a disability…
Assistive technology service means any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device(Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2004)
Assistive Technology (AT) refers to technology, tools, or services that are used to help students with disabilities access their education.
AT is available on a continuum from low to high technology. Low-tech devices do not require electrical power to use and may be referred to as accommodations. Low-tech AT includes items such as pencil grips, graphic organizers, and homework planners. Students and/or teachers may find they are already using low-tech AT without being aware of doing so. High-tech devices require the use of a computer or other complex electronics.
Part of the process for students with IEP and 504 plans involves consideration of individual AT needs every year. The IEP/504 teams will determine necessary AT or, if necessary, request an AT evaluation for assistance gathering information necessary to make a decision. Effective implementation and monitoring will follow to confirm that the AT selected is necessary and beneficial.
As part of a team approach to AT, D155 has an AT Facilitator available to facilitate the AT process, including conducting AT evaluations and training staff, and an AT Curator to keep the district up-to-date on current technology. D155 related service staff are able to provide expertise on AT in their area, and classroom teachers provide information regarding the student’s individual strengths and needs. The below flowchart provides an overview of D155’s process for AT consideration.