Assistive Technology Devices and Services
Many children with disabilities have difficulties with reading, writing, and math. Some children have problems with vision, hearing, listening and/or communicating. Others have physical, mobility, and motor problems. Assistive technology helps children use their strengths to compensate or "work around" weaknesses caused by the disability. Assistive technology includes "devices" and "services."
IDEA 2004 requires IEP teams to consider the assistive technology needs of all children with disabilities. (20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(3)(B)(v))
The IEP team makes decisions about assistive technology devices and services based on your child’s unique needs so that he or she can be more confident and independent. The law requires schools to use assistive technology devices and services "to maximize accessibility for children with disabilities." (20 U.S.C. 1400(c)(5)(H))
If the IEP team determines that your child needs assistive technology devices and services, the school district is responsible for providing these and cannot use lack of availability or cost as an excuse.
Note: Assistive technology is not a substitute for teaching your child to read and write.
IDEA defines an "assistive technology device" 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 a child with a disability. (20 U.S.C. 1401(1))
IDEA defines an "assistive technology service" as:
any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. This term includes:
(A) the evaluation
(B) purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices
(C) selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing
(D) coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices
(D) training or technical assistance for such child, or the family of such child
(F) training or technical assistance for professionals (20 U.S.C. 1401(2))