Assistive Technology

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (2005), assistive technology (AT) is any device or item, purchased off the shelf or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capacity of individuals with disabilities. The Assistive Technology Act of 2004 is designed to help states in promoting awareness about AT while providing technical assistance, outreach, and ways to foster inter-agency coordination. The New Freedom Initiative of 2001 earmarked $120 million to promote the development and availability of assistive and universally designed technology to individuals with disabilities.

In addition, the IDEA requires school personnel to consider AT as a related service in developing the individualized education programs (IEP) of students with disabilities. Appropriate consideration of AT occurs when devices and services are ...

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