An assistive technology device, as defined by the IDEA 2004, refers to 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. (While this definition covers a broad range of items, both low-tech and high-tech, the term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such device.)
An assistive technology service, also defined by federal law, means any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. Such service may include the evaluation of AT needs, providing for acquisition of AT, selecting, or adapting AT for the student, coordinating AT intervention and services, including training or technical assistance for child, family, and other team members to facilitate successful implementation of AT.
For school-age students, AT devices and services are those that provide access to the general education curriculum and/or a means to meet IEP goals. AT devices and services may be needed for alternative augmentative communication (AAC), computer access, written communication, environmental control, or for sensory (auditory or visual) access. AT may encompass both hi-tech and low-tech solutions and allows many students with disabilities to function effectively in the general education curriculum and to meet their educational goals.
Who is responsible for AT device and services?
It is important to note that assistive technology is one of the special factors that should be considered in the development, review, or revision of the IEP for every student. While not every student with an IEP needs AT, the need for AT should be considered by all teams in the IEP process. The LEA is responsible for providing AT devices and services as specified on the IEPs.
ARIN AT Contact:
Jayna Greenfield, AT Consultant