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"For people without disabilities, technology makes things easier. For people with disabilities, technology makes things possible.”. A program of the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University. FOR INFORMATION contact:

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"For people without disabilities, technology makes things easier.

For people with disabilities, technology makes things possible.”

A program of the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University



PIAT - Pennsylvania’s Initiative on Assistive Technology

411 S Student Center

1755 North 13th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19122

Tel: 800-204-7428 (voice)

866-268-0579 (TTY)

Fax: 215-204-6336



your presenter today is
Your presenter today is…

Ann Dolloff, CTRS, MEd

Assistant Director


Betty and Lucille

and your other presenter is
And your other presenter is:

Jamie A. Prioli, RESNA


AT Specialist


Savanna, Chip, Maddy and Toby

assistive technology device
Assistive Technology Device

“any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capacities of individuals with disabilities.”

From Public Law 108-446, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004 (IDEA 2004). Retrieved 1-13-10 from

From Public Law 108-364, the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended. Retrieved 3-2-09 from

doohickies thingamabobs and whatchamacallits
What is this?

How is it assistive technology?

How can it help a person do something?

Doohickies, Thingamabobs and Whatchamacallits
what s this
What’s this?
  • Dog toy
  • Sock dressing aid
  • Gardening tool
  • I have no idea
sock dressing aid
Sock Dressing Aid $12.00

what s this1
What’s this?
  • Reacher
  • Grabber
  • Lifter
  • Dog leash
leg lifter
Leg Lifter $9.00

what s this2
What’s this?
  • Ball with screw & hole
  • Child’s toy
  • Not something to use as a dog toy
  • Writing Aid
  • Something only Jamie’s cats would play with
Arthwriter $10.00

what are these
What are these?
  • Tools to help my dog eat
  • A collar for my cat
  • Tools to help me eat
nosey cup plate guard
Nosey Cup & Plate Guard $10-20.00

what s this3
What’s this?
  • Mats
  • Dycem
  • Paper
  • Dog hair picker-upper
dycem or use shelf liner
Dycem…or use shelf liner! $25.00+

Favorite Discount Store…..$1-5.00!

what are these1
What are these?
  • Pipe insulation and wash cloths
  • Wash cloths and pipe insulation
  • Stuff my dog chews when home alone
pipe insulation washcloths
Pipe Insulation & Washcloths

Make great grip build-up on devices used daily

Purchase a home supply or discount store

what s this4
What’s this?
  • Hair curlers
  • More stuff my dog chews
  • Something only Jamie’s cats would play with
foam hair curlers
Foam Hair Curlers

take out the plastic insert, and use the foam as a grip build-up!

Purchase a discount or drug store.

what s this5
What’s this?
  • Dog food scoop
  • Cat food scoop
  • People food scoop
  • Milk carton holder
milk or juice carton holder
Milk or Juice Carton Holder


zipper pull or key turner
Zipper Pull or Key Turner

Insert shower curtain ring into zipper pull or key opening for better leverage and manipulation!

Dollar or discount store!

what s this7
What’s this?
  • Contraption
  • Something I trip on when left on the floor
  • Seat lifter
  • Something that scares my dog
uplift seat assist
Uplift Seat Assist


what s this8
What’s this?
  • Soft frisbee
  • Flat pillow
  • Swivel seat
  • Another dog chew toy
swivel seat for cars and chairs
Swivel Seat for cars and chairs $25-30.00

low mid and high tech assistive technology devices
Low, Mid and High Tech Assistive Technology Devices
  • Low Tech: Inexpensive, easy to learn, readily available, can be “off-the-shelf”, easier to make/maintain/replace
  • Mid-Tech: May cost more, require some training, have special design, may need power source or other support
  • High-Tech: Higher cost, need specific training to learn, may require on-going support, often customized
assistive technology devices
Assistive Technology Devices
  • Can be everyday, simple and inexpensive as well as complex, customized and costly
  • Cognition is a factor for consideration what AT to use, but not a barrier to using AT
  • Requires acceptance, motivation and support to fully integrate AT into a person’s life (school, work, home and community)
the scope of assistive technology
The Scope of Assistive Technology


Seating and Positioning

Power Mobility

Manual Mobility

Mobility Aids

Assistive Listening

Vehicle Modification


Worksite Modification

Home Modification

Learning Aids

Environmental Controls

Vision Aids

Self Care/Activities of Daily Living

ipad ipod touch
iPad & iPod Touch
  • Over 500,000 apps…and growing!
  • Built in accessibility features: Voice control, magnification, font size
  • Mainstream technology easily useable by MANY students (think Universal Design!)
concept mapping udl
Concept Mapping - UDL
  • Inspiration, Kidspiration ($)
  • MindManager ($)
  • C-Map (free)
  • FreeMInd (free)
  • Mindomo (free, $)
  • MindView3 ($)


Concept Maps

intel reader
Intel Reader

The Intel Reader transforms printed text to the spoken word for those with reading-based disabilities or impaired vision.

assistive listening
Assistive Listening

Personal FM system

Pocket Talker

Noise cancelling headset

Microphone with receiver headset

  • Highlighters
  • Post Its
  • Colors
    • Pens
    • Paper
    • Folders
livescribe pen
LiveScribe Pen

  • Syncs text/graphics with audio
  • Built-in camera, microphone, speaker and audio jack for distance recording
  • 400 or 800 hours of recorded audio
  • Apps for pens!



Lamp with magnifier

video magnifiers
Video Magnifiers

Handheld magnifier

Desktop full screen magnifier


Large button phone with visual signaler

Large button phone with pictures and locking keyboard


CapTel Phone

alternate computer keyboards

Big Keys Plus keyboard

Alternate Computer Keyboards

Key-U-See keyboard

Flexible, waterproof keyboard

alternative computer access
Alternative Computer Access

Hands-free computer input devices with onscreen keyboard

software voice recognition
Software - Voice Recognition
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking
  • Via Voice
augmentative and alternative communication aac
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)


Picture album

Talking picture frame


Vantage Lite

assistive technology services
Assistive Technology Services

Any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.

  • Evaluation
  • Acquisition
  • Adapting/Modification
  • Coordination of Therapies
  • Training: Consumer – Family – Professionals
  • Maintenance, Repair & Replacement
how do i decide what assistive technology is needed
How do I decide what assistive technology is needed?

Requires consideration of the:


What activity does the person want to do?

What skills are needed to do the activity?

What skills does the person have to do activity?

What supports exist to help learn a new way?

Where is this activity done and under what conditions?

then now
Then & Now

I use a LiveScribe Pen to record and take notes

I use the Kurzweil 3000 when on my computer

I use Dragon Naturally Speaking when writing

I audiotape meetings and lectures

Someone reads the assignments to me

I dictate my work for someone else to type

barriers to at use
Barriers to AT Use
  • Attitudes (“too ….whatever…to benefit”)
  • Thinking AT is all ‘high tech’, so too complicated to use
  • Funding (who pays)
  • Lack of knowledge of what is “out there” to support a person’s functional needs
how can state at act programs help you
The RESNA Catalyst Project

56 AT Act Programs in every state as well as Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, District of Columbia, American Samoa, & Guam.

How Can State AT Act programs help you?
state at program activities
State AT Program Activities

Access to AT – How do I know what I need?

Acquisition of AT – How do I get what I need?

Public Awareness – How do I learn about resources?

Training – Please teach me about AT!

priority activities access to at
Priority Activities – Access to AT
  • AT device demonstrations
    • Learn about how AT device or group of devices can help at home or in the community. Demos provide an overview to help individuals with disabilities make informed decisions about what AT devices they may want or need
  • AT device short-term loan
    • Short-term loan of AT devices – “try-before-you-buy”, and allows individuals with disabilities to use the device at home, in the workplace, or in their community
priority activities acquisition of at
Priority Activities-Acquisition of AT
  • State Financing – may vary in each state
    • Low-interest loan programs for the purchase of AT
    • Cooperative buying efforts to obtain lower cost
    • Telecommunication programs
  • Reutilization of AT
    • Providing “gently used” devices to people who might not otherwise be able to afford AT. Included AT Exchange, Reuse and Open-ended Loan
at resources
AT Resources

Microsoft Accessibility-Technology for Everyone helps people of all abilities to realize their full potential.

Pass It On Center is a national resource for AT reuse so that people with disabilities can get the affordable AT they need.

at resources1
AT Resources

The Family Center on Technology and Disability provides a wide range of resources on assistive and instructional technologies.

National Public Website on Assistive Technology provides information on AT devices and services.

at resources2
AT Resources

Closing The Gap provides parents and educators the information and training necessary to locate, compare, and implement AT.

Assistive Technology Industry Association provides online AT Educational Webinars.

at resources3
AT Resources

The mission of the Alliance for Technology Access (ATA) is to increase the use of technology by children and adults with disabilities and functional limitations.

at resources4
AT Resources

Technology and Media division of the Council for Exceptional Children

Wright’s Law – resources for AT & Education

at resources5
AT Resources

Techmatrix contains AT guides, topics, product comparisons, topic information pages (e.g. Reading for Struggling Students)

LD Online – great resources for learning tool for alternate learning styles

oscar pistorius too able
Oscar Pistorius – Too Able?
  • Does assistive technology provide an “unfair advantage” to a person with a disability?
  • Can AT make a person too able?

Thank you for

your attention