Assistive Technologies was defined in the Federal law of Individual with Disabilities Educational Act(IDEA) 1990(Public Law 101-476). This was a very helpful act for the people with disabilities till 2004. Suddenly an Improvement Act came with the Public Law 108-446.
That Assistive technologies device has been added to the act to clarify the school education system. to provide surgically implanted technologies. You would have confused what is this? what are you trying to say?. Actually, what is that Assistive technology? Don’t worry We have explained it below.
What Is Assistive Technology?
Here comes the Answer to all your questions about Assistive Technologies.
Assistive Technology (AT) is a piece of equipment, software program, or product system which is used to improve the functional capabilities of the person with disabilities. I think you would have a got an idea about AT now.
AT can be a low-tech, high-tech, hardware, computer hardware, specialized learning material. Curriculum aids, electronic devices, educational software, power lifts and much more.
This technology helps people who have difficulty in speaking, typing, writing, remembering, pointing, seeing, hearing, learning, walking, and many other things. Different disabilities require different AT.
They have split up the AT on two different bases. So, that it would help the person with disabilities more. The two bases are
- Assistive Technology Device
- Assistive technology Service
Now, you would have come to decision about the Assistive technology. Let’s discuss the two types of AT bases below.
Assistive Technology Device
Here we are going to know about the AT devices, how it helps the individuals. AT device was first identified in 2004. But it does not include any medical device that is surgically implanted or replaced.
Even though, IDEA uses the term “Device” because it is required for the students with disabilities. Students are using hardware, a software device, and many tools for their educational purposes. So, they have included the word Device except for the surgically implanted device as defined by IDEA.
Students require AT to participate and get benefits from their educational programs. Each Student must get the right technology solutions to get successful in their educational programs. Let have a look at what are the Areas which are helpful for the students.
Example Of Assistive Technologies tools:
Here we are going to list some of the assistive technology tools and we will See the Technologies of the assistive tool in brief.
Academic and Learning Aids: Electronic and non-electronic aids like spell checkers, calculators, portable word processors, and computer software are used by the students who are struggling to achieve in the educational curriculum.
Daily Living Aids: The activities like eating, bathing, cooking, dressing, toileting, and self-maintenance are the Self-Help Aid.
Assistive Listening Devices and Environmental aids: Amplification devices, closed captioning system, environment alerting system which assists the students who hard of hearing or deaf.
Augmentative Communication: The software or Hardware that help the students to communicate the feeling, words, and information to the partner with limited speech and language.
Computer Access and Instruction: Input, output devices, switches, special software, modified keyboards, and software solutions which are helpful for the student with disabilities to use classroom computers.
Mobility Aids: Wheelchairs, scooters, walkers that are used improve the personal ability.
Magnifiers, talking calculators, adapted tape players, a screen reading software application for computers. Braille note-taking device that assists the students with visual impairments or blindness to create their own information in the visual modality.
Seating and Positioning: Adaptive seating system and positioning which help to provide students with optimal positioning to enhance participation and access the curriculum.
Recreation and Leisure Aid: Adapted books, switches, adapted toys, and leisure computer-based software applications. That is used by students with disabilities to increase participation and independence in recreation and leisure activities.
These are some tools of assistive technology and there are a lot of tools available. we can see that in brief later. Assistive technology in special education plays a major role. However, you can have a look at the services of assistive technologies for the students with disabilities below.
Assistive Technology Service
Hi, You have seen what is AT tool and assistive technology device above. Here we are going to see about the service of Assistive technology. How its helpful to the students in their special education.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has defined a term and given a few notes what are the services will come under this Act. Let have a look at it and know the service come under this act.
You will have a doubt what is the AT services? Ya, you will come to know it in simple words. Any services or help that directly assists with a child with a disability in the selection, learning or developing of skill, and use of any Assistive technology tools.
This term includes a lot of services let have look at it.
- Surveying for the needs and functional evaluation of the child in the Child’s environment.
- Purchasing, leasing, developing or teaching of assistive technology devices for the Children with disabilities.
- Repairing, designing, adapting, retaining, fitting, selecting, customizing, applying the assistive technology tools.
- Therapies, interventions, coordinating, services with devices of assistive technology. Those are associated with education and rehabilitation plans and programs.
- Training or Technical assistance for the Child with a disability about their technology devices, special education or rehabilitation program.
- The service will include the training to the professional who is involved in the major life functions of children with disabilities.
This is the few well-known services which are effectively helping the children in assistive technology special education. You would have got a clear idea about the AT and its devices & services.
In Summary, the definitions of the AT device and services been explained clearly in IDEA. It’s also included in State rules of Special Education. Each student must know about the assistive technology services and devices. If any AT device required must be reported to Students IEP and provided to the student in Timely Manner.