What is Assistive Technology?
Assistive Technology is defined as "any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of children with disabilities."
IDEA Law requires school districts to ensure that assistive technology devices and services are provided if needed by a student in order to receive a free and appropriate public education (FAPE).
The CESA #12 Assistive Technology consultant is available to provide awareness, knowledge, and mastery level trainings on a wide variety of subjects, including assessing students' need for assistive technology, writing assistive technology into the IEP, and implementation of assistive technology into a child's curricular programming. Technical assistance is also available on hardware devices and software programs.
BIG ISSUES in Assistive Technology and Education:
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of strategies that can be employed to overcome the barriers inherent in most existing curriculum. Based on current brain research, UDL supports the use and creation of instruction and materials that are accessible and adaptable for all students. Wonderful information, materials and support are available at:
the CAST website and OSEP's Ideas that Work
National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) is a technical standard in IDEA with the goal of ensuring the development of high quality and consistent text source files to create specialized formats for students with print disabilities. Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) need to be provided to all students whose learning is enhanced by materials in specialized formats such as audio, large print, highlighted etc. More information is available at the CAST website above and at OSEP's website.
Other important online resources are available at:
Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative website
Under the "Supports" tab, a wide variety of publications are available to download including the ASNAT manual (Assessing Students Needs for Assistive Technology),Assistive Technology Supports for Students with Autism Spectrum Disoders, and supports for using the SETT model to assess students needs. The ASNAT manual provides a chapter by chapter approach to assessing technology needs including online resources for seating/positioning/mobility, communication, computer access, writing, reading, math, organization, rec and leisure and more.
Wisconsin DPI service for Assistive Technology
For more information, contact:
Contact: Sue Erickson
Phone: (715) 682-2363 Ext. 135