Assistive Technology

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What is Assistive Technology (AT)?

AT is any device or system that can maintain or improve the capabilities of a person with a disability and the training or other support to ensure its availability. When school officials are deciding whether to place a student with a disability in a regular classroom, before they look at other placements, they must consider how assistive technology can help the student succeed in the least restrictive environment.

Florida law requires that if an IEP team makes a recommendation in accordance with State Board of Education rules for a student with disabilities to receive an assistive technology assessment, that assessment must be completed within 60 school days after the team’s recommendation.

A student’s IEP or 504 Team can determine the need for assistive technology based on a professional evaluation. If the student needs the technology to access the curriculum, for home study, or in the transition to adulthood, the school may pay for both the equipment and the training to use it. A student with a disability may also need — and has a right to — some form of technology in order to participate fully in school activities.

In that case, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act may require that the school provide the technology, as well as any training necessary to use it. DVR and DBS are required to equip an eligible person for employment.

Assistive technology services include evaluation, maintenance, repair and training for students, their families and the professionals working with them.

Examples of AT

  • Augmentative communication systems, including talking computers
  • Assistive listening devices, including hearing aids, personal FM units, closed-caption TVs and teletype machines (TDDs)
  • Specially adapted learning games, toys and recreation equipment
  • Computer and software
  • Computer-assisted instruction
  • Electronic tools (scanners with speech synthesizers, tape recorders, word processors)
  • Curriculum and textbook adaptations (audio format, large print format, Braille)
  • Copies of overheads, transparencies and notes
  • Adaption of the learning environment, such as  special  desks, modified learning stations, computer touch screens or different computer keyboards
  • Durable medical equipment