What is Assistive Technology?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states that all children identified as needing exceptional education services must be considered for assistive technology (AT). The same law defines assistive technology as:
"…any item, piece of equipment or product system whether acquired commercially , modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities" (20 U.S.C., Chapter 33, Section 1401(25).
This includes any device used by a child (or adult) with a disability that enhances learning, independence, communication, mobility, environmental control, choice, play/recreation, hearing/vision, seating/positioning, access to computers and more. It also refers to direct services that assist in selecting and using these devices.
What Does This Mean for a Prekindergarten SPED Student?
AT devices commonly used for young learners include, but are not limited to, the following:
What Needs To Be Considered by the Child's Family and School Team?
The first and most important question to answer is "What do we want this student to be able to do that he/she is not currently able to do because of his/her disability?" Other things to consider include:
What has been tried to meet this need? Is it working? Why or why not?
What devices or strategies can be utilized to meet this need?
How can these devices/strategies be integrated into the classroom curriculum?
What training and/or follow up will be required?
The Assistive Technology Implementation Plan (A.T.I.P.) is the core document used in our program to choose, implement and document results of assistive technology for a student. Download the document and see examples in the side bar to the right.
The Pre-K Assistive Technology Team:
*LATS = State of Florida Local Assistive Technology Specialist
° support of the Assistive Technology Implementation Plan (ATIP) process
Assistive Technology Resources - (Printable document that includes general information about the S.W.A.T. program as well as information about assistive technology devices, software and materials)
Pre-K Assistive Technology Implementation Plan (ATIP)