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Assistive Technology in Education

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Technology is necessary for many students with disabilities to be able to take full advantage of educational opportunities, have access to the same general curriculum provided to their peers, and be included in the full range of programs and services offered in their classrooms and schools. Technology is part of the "free appropriate public education" guaranteed by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Therefore, technology should be included in students' Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), when necessary, for them to realize the full benefits of their education and be prepared for a successful, independent life after public school graduation.

Best practice and advocacy resources:

  • Consideration of Assistive Technology in the Individual Education Program

    The Texas Technology Access Program, in collaboration with The Texas Assistive Technology Network, with leadership provided by the Region IV Education Service Center, and The University of Texas at Austin's Department of Special Education have developed a training module entitled "Consideration of Assistive Technology (AT) in the Individual Education Program (IEP)." This training module can be used by staff, developers, and educators. The module is an introduction to assistive technology consideration during the development of the IEP for educators, administrators, parents, and others involved in the development of IEPs for students with disabilities. The module may be viewed online or downloaded.

  • National Assistive Technology Research Institute (NATRI).

    The University of Kentucky Assistive Technology (UKAT) Toolkit is a product of six years of assistive technology (AT) research conducted at the University of Kentucky in collaboration with six school districts in Kentucky. It provides a systematic method to deliver AT services to students in schools. It is based on two major premises:
    • The first goal in special education is to improve a student's ability to successfully function in schools, responding to the demands presented by the general curriculum and school environment; and
    • No technology and low technology solutions should be considered before the high technology solutions.

      The Toolkit systematically guides IEP and AT teams in considering the use of AT from referral through implementation. The UKAT Toolkit is available here for you to download and use. Please share it with others and, when you do, maintain the credit lines on all documents to give credit to the hard working team that developed them
      .


  • Exceptional Parent Magazine.

    Award winning magazine's online resource provides information on technology, mobility, education, and a wide range of support ideas for parents and families of children with disabilities and professionals who work with them.

  • RIATT@NASDE.

    Research Institute for Assistive and Training Technologies (RIATT) online continuing professional education, sponsored by the National Association of Special Education Directors (NASDE).

  • Joy Zabala's Resources for Assistive Technology in Education.

    Includes SETT Framework for effective selection and use of assistive technology in educational settings.

  • Quality Indicators in Assistive Technology.

    Designed for implementing assistive technology requirements in school settings.

  • Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST)

    Researches and promotes technology to expand educational opportunities, including Universal Design for Learning.

  • International Society for Technology in Education.

    Promotes use of information technology in education.

  • National Center to Improve Practice in Special Education through Technology.

    Promotes technology to enhance educational outcomes for students with sensory, cognitive, physical, and social/emotional disabilities. Large section on technology for early childhood.

  • Assistive Technology for Children with Autism

    Informative article about AT to improve or increase the understanding of their environment and various social, academic, and independent functioning skills.

  • Wrightslaw.

    "Understanding Tests and Measurements for the Parent and Advocate."

  • Special Ed Advocate.

    Free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy topics."

  • Learning Ally.

    Educational library serving people who cannot effectively read standard print because of visual impairment, dyslexia, or other physical disability.

  • Center on Technology and Disability.

    U.S Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs site provides a wide range of resources on assistive and instructional technologies.

  • "Assistive Technology for students with learning disabilities:  An overview."

    Article that addresses assistive technology tools that play to strengths and work-around challenges. Includes a list of some of the AT available.

  • Great Schools.

    Website includes AT tools for reading, writing, math, listening, and more. Also includes AT articles by grade level, from preschool through high school.

  • ATTO:  Assistive Technology Training Online Project.

    Provides information about assistive technology applications that assist students with disabilities learn more effectively. Includes AT Basics, AT Decision Making, Tutorials on AT Software, and additional resources.

  • Our Online Handbook for Special Needs Parenting. 

    Handbook offering resources for parents caring for children with special needs




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