Assistive Technology devices are any item, piece of equipment, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. It may enable individuals to become more independent, self-confident, productive, and better integrated into the home, classroom, and community.
The term assistive technology encompasses a broad range of devices from “low tech”, such as pencil grips, splints, and paper stabilizers, to “high tech”, such as computers, voice synthesizers, and Braille readers. These devices include the entire range of supportive tools and equipment from adapted spoons to wheelchairs and computer systems.
The Assistive Technology Specialist in a school setting assesses the technology needs of the individual, including a functional evaluation in the student’s customary environment. If it is determined that the student requires an assistive device, the specialist assists the student in the selection, acquisition, and/or use of this device. This process takes expertise and persistence. Additionally, the specialist provides training for the student, school staff, and parents, if needed, in the effective use of the technology.