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Assistive Technology

According to IDEA, assistive technology is any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities.  The term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such device. (Authority 20 U.S.C. 1401(1)) Although IDEA uses the term “device”, it is important to recognize that assistive technology devices required by students with disabilities can be any tool including hardware and software as well as stand-alone devices.  Assistive technology also includes services that may include: an evaluation of the student’s need for assistive technology; training of the student, family members or staff on how to use the assistive technology; technical assistance about its operation or use; modification or customization of the assistive technology and other supports to the school staff that may be needed for the assistive technology to be appropriately used.

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