What is Assistive Technology (AT)?
Assistive technology is any tool or device that a student with a disability uses to do a task that he or she could not otherwise do. It can also be any tool the student uses to do a task more easily, faster, or in a better way. It can be a commercial product or something someone makes. It can be a simple “low tech” device such as a pencil grip or an expensive “high tech” device such as a computer or dedicated communication device. Another example of Assistive Technology is an app, extension, or add on to be used with a standard computer, tablet, or other device.
Why is it important for all educators to be aware of assistive technology?
Assistive technology has the potential of dramatically impacting the life of a student with disabilities. Assistive Technology can give a student a way to communicate with peers, it could give them the opportunity to complete school work independently, or to feel more confident in tasks that they are already doing. It can also help the teacher more directly meet the needs of the student.
Who benefits from assistive technology?
Any student with a disability from mild to severe may benefit from the use of assistive technology. There is assistive technology to help an individual with reading, writing, remembering, walking, sitting, seeing, hearing, and communicating. Any student who needs help with any of these life functions may benefit significantly from the use of assistive technology.
What are some of the things assistive technology can do for students?
- Help a student learn
- Make things easier to turn on
- Help the student keep track of their own schedule
- Hold things steady or in place
- Help a student get dressed or eat
- Make playing or recreational activities possible
- Allow communication or improve communication
- Help a student see or hear better
- Help a student control things such as a television, radio, computer or lights
What services does the AT Team provide?
The Murray School District Assistive Technology Team serves as a resource for assessment and development of assistive technology systems for students who have limited ability to fully participate in school and life activities.