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Assistive Technology

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) defines assistive technology as devices and services, such as visual aids, communication tools, and specialized equipment for accessing a computer, that are used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities, allowing them to benefit from special education and promoting their independence. Other examples of typical assistive technology include Braille readers, wheelchairs, augmentative communication devices, electronic dictionaries/spellers, alternative keyboards, and computer software programs. IDEA mandates that assistive technology be considered in the development of individualized education programs (IEPs) for all students with disabilities, with special emphasis on facilitating students' access to the general education curriculum.

In addition to IDEA, two additional pieces of legislation relate specifically to technology for individuals with disabilities. The ...

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