ASSISTIVE AND ADAPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES
CREATED BY: HEATHER SCHUMPERT



AT.jpg

*Found by Using Google Images*
WHAT IS ASSISTIVE AND ADAPTIVE TECHNOLOGY?





Assistive Technology can be defined in several ways. By definition AT is a generic term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities and includes the process used in selecting, locating, and using them. “The use of appropriate assistive technology in the education process increases the potential for persons with disabilities to succeed in independent living and to engage in productive employment, as well as to enjoy an improved quality of life” (Deloney and Tompkins, 1994).
While this is true, assistive technology can also be described as “the use of any device that will enable persons with disabilities to function to their maximum potential educationally, vocationally, socially, and in daily living activities. This includes both low and high technology applications. Low technology refers to any apparatus that is either non-electronically based or simple battery-operated items (e.g., adapted toys and tape recorders). High technology involves the use of sophisticated systems that are electronically based (e.g., power wheelchairs and environmental control systems)” (Bristow and Pickering, 1998).


ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY LEGISLATION

During the 1980's and 90's, the civil and education rights of individuals with disabilities were strengthened. As Assistive Technology has the potential to provide opportunities for increased independence and participation in all of life's activities, the federal government recognized this ability in the following statement:
"...for all individuals, technology can provide important tools for making the performance of tasks quicker and easier, but for some individuals with disabilities, assistive technology is a necessity that enables them to engage in or perform many tasks"(Osers, 1989).


WHAT ARE ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY (AT) DEVICES?


Assistive_Technology.jpg

*Found by Using Google Images*


Assistive Technology (AT) devices can be defined as any item, piece of equipment, or product system that is used to increase functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. Assistive Technology devices are sometimes categorized as high technology and low technology. Examples of a low technology device might be note-taking cassette recorders, pencil grips, copy machine, picture boards, taped instructions, or workbooks. High-tech devices usually incorporate some type of computer chip. Examples of high technology devices include, but are not limited to, word processors with spelling and grammar checking, word prediction, voice recognition, speech synthesizers, alternative keyboards, or instructional software. Categories of Assistive Technology include:

· Aids for Daily Living
· Augmentative Communication
· Computer Applications
· Environmental Control Systems
· Home/Worksite Modifications
· Prosthetics and orthotics
· Seating and Positioning
· Vision Aids
· Sensory Aids for People who have a hearing impairment
· Wheelchair/Mobility Aids
· Vehicle Modifications


HOW IS ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY FUNDED IN SCHOOLS?

“Assistive Technology in the schools is funded through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This special education program lists a variety of assessments and services that school systems must provide so students with disabilities may receive a "free and appropriate public education." If the child needs an assistive device to benefit from his/her educational program, it should be written into the IEP”(Alliance for Technology Access, 2009).

Section A, Part 300 of IDEA states that for Special Education in a school district:
Assistive technology service means any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.
This includes:
• The evaluation of the needs of a child with a disability, including a functional evaluation of the child in the child's customary environment;
• Purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by children with disabilities;
• Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology devices;
• Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as those associated with existing education and rehabilitation plans and programs;
• Training or technical assistance for a child with a disability or, if appropriate, that child's family;
• Training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals providing education or rehabilitation services), employers, or other individuals who provide services to, employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of that child.


COMPUTER LINKS

Assistive Technology: Education: Disability.gov
Assistive & Adaptive Technology-Assistive & Adaptive Technology

C
omputer assistive technology abilityhub for disability and disabilities
Assistive/Adaptive Technology for Students