An assistive technology (AT) device helps a person with a disability complete an everyday task (like communicating), increase independence, and can enhance his or her quality of life.
An assistive technology service helps a person with their AT device, which can include evaluating, acquiring, fitting and customizing, and training both the individual and professionals to use the device.
Assistive technology should be considered every year during your student’s annual review to see if it can increase his or her independence. Could some of the services your student receives from a person be replaced by AT? (For example, voice- activated typing vs. an assistant to type things out.)
Not already using AT? Ask for an AT assessment in writing. Even the trial of AT services and products can be added to an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504. Be sure you know who at the school to follow up with.
Make sure your student is included in decision making and encourage them to
try AT to find out which items might be a good fit. Self-advocacy also plays an important role: Your student should know when to ask to use their AT device, and to discuss how it is/is not working.
Trial and error help your student figure out which AT devices and services work best. Does the device make the task easier or more complex?
RESOURCES IN NEW YORK STATE
- Center on Technology and Disability
- Rehabilitative Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America
FOR PRODUCT INFORMATION