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Assistive Technology

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Caroline Mills

on 24 August 2015

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Transcript of Assistive Technology

High Tech
Medium Tech

Assessment &

Low Tech
Educational Continuum

(Student Behavior)
- Power wheelchairs and scooters
- Digital hearing aids
- Computers with specialized software
- Voice activation and communication devices
- MP3 player/iPod
- Digital recorders
- Word Processor
- Text messaging
Universal High AT
- Low to moderately priced, battery operated, or "simple" electronic devices

- Easy to program

- Require minimal training
- Electronic dictionaries
- Electronic organizers
- Talking watches
- Special lighting
- Battery-operated time trackers
- Wheelchairs
-Active Toys
-Speaking calculators
Low Tech
Tools for Life
IDEA’04 Definition of Assistive Technology -
Assistive technology device:

(A) In general: The term '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 functional capabilities of a child with a disability.
Assistive Technology (AT)
When many people think of assistive technology, they think primarily about computers or sophisticated electronic devices. However, It is important to realize that assistive technology applications can be viewed as a continuum that ranges from "no-tech" to "high-tech".

High Assistive Technology
- magnifying glasses
- large print text
-pen or pencil grips
- reading rulers
- Velcro and Velcro fastenings
-graphic organizers
-daily schedules and calendars
-slant boards
-highlighters/highlighter paper
- counting blocks/sticks

Low Tech AT...

- Does not require extensive training

- Does not have complex and intricate features

- Usually, will be less expensive, and more cost effective for both the parents and teacher.

- Have fun and be creative

- Utilize the Internet for ideas

- Make sure to explore all options, collect data, and utilize best fit for each student!

- Adapt existing technologies to meet the needs of each student
(B) Exception: The term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such device.
Assistive Technology Act of 2004
Assistive Technology Acts provide federal funding from the U.S. Department of Education to each state and territory to support "State efforts to improve the provision of assistive technology to individuals with disabilities of all ages through comprehensive statewide programs of technology-related assistance."

• High Tech AT refers to the most complex devices or equipment, that have digital or electronic components, may be computerized, will likely require training and effort to learn how to use and cost the most. Examples include:
No-tech solutions are those that make use of procedures, services, and existing conditions in the environment that do not involve the use of devices or equipment. These might include services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, or the services of other specialists.

Low-tech items are less sophisticated and can include devices such as adapted spoon handles, non-tipping drinking cups, and Velcro fasteners.

Medium-tech devices are relatively complicated mechanical devices, such as wheelchairs.

High-tech devices incorporate sophisticated electronics or computers.

Dollars and Sense
Navigating the
AT Funding System
"However, AT is expensive and far outside many people’s budgets, particularly those who are under-or unemployed. For both students and adults, the Tech Act offers, through the states’ loan programs, training activities, demonstrations of new devices, and other direct services. This allows students to get equipment and other AT devices both at school and at home before actually purchasing them. Access to information technology is important and unfettering to all of us, and restrictions to its access result in barriers with considerable consequences” (Smith & Tyler, pg. 18).

Under the law, each U.S. state and territory receives a grant to fund an Assistive Technology Act Project (ATAP). These projects provide services to persons with disabilities for their entire life span, as well as to their families or guardians, service providers, and agencies, and other entities that are involved in providing services such as education and employment to persons with disabilities.

How do you find your state’s AT project? Visit the RESNA Catalyst Project, and select your state from the list, that’s how.

Currently, there are 56 State AT programs.

For the approximately
50,000,000 individuals with disabilities
in the United States...
One of the major changes brought about by the Assistive Technology Act of 2004 was a change in purpose. Previous Acts focused on helping states build "systems for improving access to assistive technology devices for individuals with disabilities."

With the 2004 edition, the Act now requires States to provide direct aid to individuals with disabilities to ensure they have access to the technology they need. As a result, the majority of State efforts are required to be conducted in the following areas: assistive technology reutilization programs, assistive technology demonstration programs, alternative financing programs and device loan programs.
Too often, when making technology decisions, there is a tendency to start at the upper end of the technology continuum when, in fact, it is better to start at a lower point.

For example, when making decisions about a person whose handwriting is difficult to recognize, it is not uncommon to hear recommendations that a laptop computer should be provided that can be taken to various environments in which written products are required
(cost: $1,000 - $4,500).
In reality, an electronic keyboard with memory that can be downloaded into a desktop computer later in the day may be more appropriate
(cost: less than $250).

Or simply put...

Assistive technology is anything that helps students better access and interpret information at hand (input), process this input, or produce a response (output).
Description and Overview
Classroom Application and Implication
Adapting Technology to Every Student
Assistance Program
Together with assistive technology we can help fill gaps that exist in the education of students with disabilities.
Funding, Resources, and Assessment Tool

Assistive Technology Industry Association. What is Assistive Technology? How is it

Funded? Retrieved fromhttp://www.atia.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3859#What_is_AT_

Colley, Anna. Intro to Assistive Technology [Prezi Document]. Retrieved from


Maryland Department of Disabilities. Maryland Technology Assistance Program.

Retrieved from http://www.mdod.maryland.gov/mtap%20home.aspx

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (2013, April). Assistive

Technology Act. Retrieved from http://nichcy.org/laws/ata

Ohio Center for Autism. (2014). AT Resource Guide: Introduction to Assistive

Technology. Retrieved from://issuu.com/ocali/docs/at_resource_guide


Raskind, Marshall. (2000). Bridges to Reading: Assistive technology for children with

learning difficulties. San Mateo, CA: Schwab Foundation for Learning.

Smith, D.D. & Tyler, N.C. (2010). Introduction to special education: Making a

difference (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merril.

U.S. Department of Education. Building the Legacy: IDEA 2004. Retrieved from

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