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Assistive technology

Assistive Technology

Presented by: Michael Miller

University of West Alabama

Spring 2015

What is assistive technology
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.

What is assistive technology1
What is assistive technology?

  • Assistive technology (AT) comes in many forms.

  • AT may be big or small, simple or complex, expensive or free.

  • Assistive technology devices can be viewed along a continuum from simple items that address problem areas to high-tech devices or equipment that solve problems.

  • Items that are already in many classrooms could be considered AT.

Why use assistive technology
Why use assistive technology?

  • Assistive Technology improves the functional performance of an individual with a disability.

  • Students can utilize assistive technology to:

    • Communicate

    • Perform academic tasks

    • Participate in social and extracurricular activities

    • Move or travel around the school

    • Use proper seating and positioning

    • Access materials

What does idea say about at
What does IDEA say about AT?

  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA ’04) defines an assistive technology device as “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child and specifically excludes a medical device that is surgically implanted or the replacement of such device” (e.g., a cochlear implant).

More from idea about at
More from IDEA about AT

  • IDEA ’04 requires IEP teams to consider whether AT devices and services are needed to accomplish the individualized goals and objectives for students with disabilities.

  • Unfortunately there is no federally designated process for IEP teams to follow.

Example of assistive technology for physically handicapped individuals
Example of Assistive Technology for Physically Handicapped Individuals

  • A wheelchair is one example of an assistive technology that is used for physically handicapped individuals. A wheelchair increases mobility and accessibility for individuals.

Example of assistive technology for individuals with a hearing impairment
Example of Assistive Technology for Individuals with Individualsa Hearing Impairment

  • Voice amplification products are used to amplify the teacher’s voice for hearing impaired students.

Example of assistive technology for students with learning disabilities
Example of Assistive Technology for Students with Learning Disabilities

  • Graphic organizers are used with students that struggle to organize ideas and information. A variety of graphic organizers exist including electronic versions.

Example of assistive technology for vision impaired students
Example of Assistive Technology for Vision Impaired Students

  • Large computer monitors and large print textbooks are used to assist students with vision impairments.


  • The IRIS Center for Training Enhancements. (2010). Assistive Technology: AnOverview. Retrieved on [month, day, year] from