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Assistive Technology Act

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Chad Williams

on 23 April 2014

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Transcript of Assistive Technology Act

Low Tech Devices
Low Tech Devices are ones that usually do not require batteries and are easy to operate.

Examples are: Low tech devices that can be implemented with with the use of any training or electricity. They can range from a pencil grip that can be added on a pencil to increase penmanship or a series of flash cards than can be used to increase communication skills. Using graphic organizers to sort out thoughts is considered an effective low tech device.
Medium Tech Devices
High Tech Devices
High Tech Devices are ones that typically require some training in order to use properly.

Examples are: High Tech devices have grown with the recent growth in the technological world. These devices include speech generating devices, voice recognition software or even a high powered wheelchair. These devices usually require training for someone to manuver properly and are considered technoloically advanced items.
The Three Types of Technologies
An assistive technology device is defined as, "any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities" (National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities) The Act also broke the technologies into three types or categories; low tech, medium tech and high tech.
The Beginning of the Assistive Technology Act
Created in 1988 to assure that any development in technology would have an impact for persons with disabilities
Often called the Tech Act
The act had been looked at and reauthorized in 1994, 1998, 2004 and lastly in 2010
Assistive Technology Act
The Goals and Purpose of the Tech Act
The act was created to bring and build awareness to assistive technology for people with disabilities. The goal for the act was to even the playing field for people with disabilities so they can complete in the world of education, employment and life. The act is designed to benefit people of all ages and disabilities that effect a persons life.
Mid Tech Devices are ones that usually require batteries but are still considered easy to use.

Examples are: Mid Tech devices include things such as an enlarged keyboard or a voice magnifier. These devices are semi technologically advanced but are also easy to operate and utilize.
Impact on the Field of Education
"The functional definition of fairness is that everyone gets what he or she needs. Much work remains to be done to provide every struggling student with the appropriate technology and tools he or she needs to be successful. The purpose of providing students with technology tools is to ensue that they can achive the academic standards that have been established." (Edyburn, 2013, Ch.1.5) This quote is the definition of the impact this act is meant to have. And while I believe it has not achieved it's full potential a lot of students still receive the technology the need to have a chance.
Current State of the Assistive Technology Act
Influences the Act has on Students with Disabilities
This act has had an immense impact on the lives of many learners that would have previously struggled to find ways to get an equal education. "Instead we are looking for the combination of tools and instructional strategies that will enable all students to achive high academic standards in a short period of time. "Edyburn, 2013, Ch.1.5) This is why the act was put into place. To not only give all students the opportunity for equal education, but to give them a fair and equal education.
My Position on Fostering Assistive Technology
In today's world I think that we as people have dedicated so much of our technological ability on things that solely provide entertainment for people. This is because that is where the money is. It is a great thing when an Act can be passed that not only encourages the use of technology for positive results in the world but also requires its use. Some of the technology being utilized in the Assistive Technology Act would possibly not exist if this Act was not put into place encouraging it's creation and future use.
Using Assistive Technology to Provide Full Inclusion of Students in Education
Using Assistive Technology for Full Inclusion for Employees in the Workplace
Using Assistive Technology for Full Inclusion in Daily Activities and the Community
The Impact of the Assistive Technology Act on My Teaching
What is Assistive Technology?
"The most current version of the Act is authorized through 2010." (National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities) This Act had been revisited and updated several times since its initial passing in 1988. Since then the advancement of technology has given previously unimaginable assistance to those that need it most.
This is one of the more important things that the Assistive Technology Act had been able to accomplish. Not only do I feel that full immersion in the classroom is going to be the most successful way for students with disabilities to obtain the highest possible education but I also feel that this is an important step in acceptance and compassion for the other children as well. Children are often scared of what they do not know about, having children with disabilities complete work alongside everyone in the classroom can help build for a better school community as a whole.
This part of the Assistive Technology Act is as important as using technology to have full immersion in the classroom. When people with disabilities are able to contribute in the workforce it not only helps their quality of life but the quality of life for people as a whole. When more people can be positive members of the work force then less people are on unemployment and our society can function more efficiently. Developments in technology and the Assistive Technology Act gives these people a chance to be positive contributing members of the work force.
This part of the Assistive Technology Act is something that I feel has the biggest impart in quality of people our communities produce. We have made big strides as a human race to be more compassionate and thoughtful for all people over the years. Using Assistive Technology to include all people with disabilities in the general population will just continue to help that cause. The quality of life for the people with disabilities is greatly improved when the assistive technology allows them to join the community without any problems. The idea of Assistive Technology is just to give everyone a fair life, in and out of the classroom.
"Teacher are much too busy to simply learn about technology that does not have an immediately relevent application." (Edyburn, 2013, Ch.2.4) I feel like this quote reflects what a lot of teachers think about technology in the classroom. I also think they are looking at it the wrong way. A lot of technology can indeed have an immediate impact in the classroom and not just for that day but for days on end into the future. I have always been of very open mind when it came to technology that could benefit my teaching. I think learning about the Assistive technology act has even given my some "low-tech" options that can be included for students that are in need of them.
The Assistive Technology Act of 2004 defines an assistive technology device in the following way:

…any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. (29 U.S.C. Sec 2202(2)) (
National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities)
Who Can Use Assistive Technology?
"Assistive devices can help students who struggle in academic fields such as writing, math, reading, listening, and memory and organization." (Gromisch, E. S. & Reinhard Neas, L. M. (Ed.). (2012) This in my mind is the best part of the Assistive Technology Act, when asked who needs it? The answer is those who need it.
How Does A Student Get Assistive Technology?
"For a child to have access to these services in the classroom, several steps need to be taken. If the child meets criteria for an Individualized Education Program (IEP) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the IEP team can include assistive devices as one of the provisions needed." (Gromisch, E. S. & Reinhard Neas, L. M. (Ed.). (2012) This is an important inclusion to the Assistive Technology Act. This makes clear rules and guidelines for who is using what with Assistive Technology. Some of this technology is not cheap and the right steps must be taken for evidence that it is needed by the right people.
National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities. (2009). Assistive Technology Act. Retrieved from http://nichcy.org/laws/ata

Gromisch, E. S. & Reinhard Neas, L. M. (Ed.). (2012). Special education: A guide to technology options. Bright Hub Education. Retrieved from http://www.brighthubeducation.com/special-ed-inclusion-strategies/125659-a-teachers-guide-to-assistive-technologies-in-the-classroom/?cid=parsely_rec

Edyburn, D. L. (2013). Inclusive technologies: Tools for helping diverse learners achieve academic success. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Assistive Technology for Physical Disabilities
The Assistive Technology Act includes both students that need the help with mental and physical disabilities. Some of the assistance with physical disabilities are things such as special modified keyboards or a joystick instead of a mouse for computer use.
While the Assistive Technology Act has taken great strides to assure that every student has a fair and equal opportunity at education it is really still up to the teachers to make sure that they get to know their students and their needs and then make full use of all the wonderful developments in technology that our world will continue to produce.
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