Assistive Technology (AT)
What is Assistive Technology?
Assistive technology refers to devices that are used by people with disabilities to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible for them to do.
“For Americans without disabilities, technology makes things easier. For Americans with disabilities, technology makes things possible” (Radabaugh, 1988).
What federal laws define assistive technology?
- First defined in the Technology-Related Assistance Act of 1988 (Tech Act)
- Re-authorized in 2004 as the Assistive Technology Act (AT Act)
- Included in the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA)
What does AT have to do with AIM?
Assistive technology (AT) and accessible instructional materials (AIM) are closely linked. IDEA references access to printed instructional materials that can be converted into the specialized formats of braille, large print, audio, or digital text. Other than embossed braille and hard copy large print, specialized formats require technology to deliver the content to the student. When a student served under IDEA needs technology for access to the content and the curriculum, the technology meets the definition of AT.
|Braille||Large Print||Audio||Digital Text|
Each state has organizations that provide services and information about AT. Check out the numerous AT resources specific to your state.
Many national organizations provide a wide range of AT resources and references including information about conferences and online learning opportunities.
AIM Product Tutorials provide examples of assistive technology applications that support the use of AIM. Links to manufacturers are included for access to current updates.