Assistive Technology

In the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988, Congress defined assistive technology (AT) as “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 functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities” (Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center, n.d., n.p.). As the definition implies, AT is a broad range of devices that may or may not be designed specifically for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). This entry further defines AT, discusses its role in supporting the lives of people with ID/DD, and describes changes in the types of AT available.

Technology becomes assistive when it supports an individual with ID/DD to accomplish tasks that would otherwise be difficult or ...

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