What is assistive technology?
Assistive technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities.
- AT can be low-tech: communication boards made of cardboard or fuzzy felt.
- AT can be high-tech: special-purpose computers.
- AT can be hardware: prosthetics, mounting systems, and positioning devices.
- AT can be computer hardware: special switches, keyboards, and pointing devices.
- AT can be computer software: screen readers and communication programs.
- AT can be inclusive or specialized learning materials and curriculum aids.
- AT can be specialized curricular software.
- AT can be much more—electronic devices, wheelchairs, walkers, braces, educational software, power lifts, pencil holders, eye-gaze and head trackers, and much more.
Assistive technology helps people who have difficulty speaking, typing, writing, remembering, pointing, seeing, hearing, learning, walking, and many other things. Different disabilities require different assistive technologies.
Assistive Technology means technology designed to be utilized in an assistive technology device or assistive technology service.
Assistive Technology Device means any item, piece of equipment, or product system whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities or individuals with disabilities.
Assistive Technology Service The term ‘assistive technology service‘ means any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. Such term includes:
- the evaluation of the assistive technology needs of an individual with a disability, including a functional evaluation of the impact of the provision of appropriate assistive technology and appropriate services to the individual in the customary environment of the individual;
- a service consisting of purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by individuals with disabilities;
- a service consisting of selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, replacing, or donating assistive technology devices;
- coordination and use of necessary therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as therapies, interventions, or services associated with education and rehabilitation plans and programs;
- training or technical assistance for an individual with a disability or, where appropriate, the family members, guardians, advocates, or authorized representatives of such an individual;
- training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals providing education and rehabilitation services and entities that manufacture or sell assistive technology devices), employers, providers of employment and training services, or other individuals who provide services to, employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of individuals with disabilities; and
- a service consisting of expanding the availability of access to technology, including electronic and information technology, to individuals with disabilities.