Assistive Technology Makes Connections for Students
Assistive technology enables children and youth with disabilities to participate more fully in all aspects of life and helps them to access their right to a "free, appropriate public education" (FAPE) in the "least restrictive environment" (LRE).
Although assistive technology is often thought of as a "tool" or set of "tools" that assist students to benefit from the general education curriculum, it is not solely devices. Assistive Technology services include technical training, trial use and a variety of accommodations.
Because assistive technology takes many forms, it looks different from student to student. In fact, the provision of assistive technology must be individualized for each student. (adapted from "Assistive Technology: Creating a Pathway")
Educators can access the Grant Wood AEA Assistive Technology team for services and support in the many ways, including:
- Helping to IEP/IFSP teams research and consider appropriate assistive technology
- Provide relevant and/or recent Assistive Technology information and resources to families and educators
- Coordinate a variety of professional development opportunities to meet the AT needs of families and IEP/IFSP team. This includes the annual Building Bridges Assistive Technology Conference in April, an event co-sponsored by GWAEA, and the launch of a hybrid graduate level course titled “AT Academy for School Professionals.”
- Loan assistive technology materials and devices through GWAEA Media Center
- Help educators utilize social media (Twitter, Google Communities, etc.) and web resources to network and support IEP teams in the provision and use of assistive technology tools and services.
To learn more, contact a member of the GWAEA Assistive Technology Team, view the information provided on Assistive Technology through our Special Education web page, or visit GWAEA Assistive Technology (AT) & Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).