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Assistive Technology

What is Assistive Technology?touch window screen in use

Assistive Technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment or product system, either commercially purchased, modified, or customized, that is used to assist a student with disabilities to complete school assignments. This may include a device as simple as a pencil grip or as complex as a computer controlled by a laser head switch. 

Examples of Assistive Technolgoy

Assistive Technology may include any of the following: 

 Motor Aspects of Writing

  • Adapted tool grips
  • Stabilize materials with non-slip material
  • Slantboard
  • Stamps
  • Raised lined paper
  • Wrist weight
  • Dictation software
  • Sticky notes for fill-in-the-blank answers
  • Drop Down menus in WORD documents


  • Book holder/easel
  • Enlarged text
  • Color Overlays
  • Thesaurus
  • Dictionary
  • Books on tape
  • E Texts
  • Screen readers
  • Picture Symbols
  • Highlighter tape


  • gait trainer
  • stander
  • walkers
  • braces
  • canes
  • wheelchairs


  • Screen Magnifiers
  • Screen magnification software
  • Enlarged text
  • Braille
  • Handheld magnifiers

Computer Access

  • Keyguard
  • Mini mouse
  • Touch screen
  • Trackball
  • Alternate keyboard
  • Switch interface
  • Speech to text software
  • Text to speech software
  • picture software

Study and Learning

  • Picture Schedules
  • Post-it notes
  • Highlighter tape
  • PDA
  • Outlining/organizing programs
  • Handheld recorders
  • Visual timers

Daily Living

  • Adapted eating and drinking utensils
  • Adapted personal hygiene tools
  • Switch operated cooking devices (ex-pouring, blender, etc)
  • Picture task analysis for chores
  • Switch adapted toys
  • Environmental control units
  • Adapted swings
  • Adapted tricycle


  • Classroom amplification system
  • Personal amplification system
  • Captioning
  • TTY

Written Composition

  • Word cards
  • Handheld spell checker
  • Sentence Strips
  • Tape recorder
  • Voice Recognition software
  • Talking Word Processor
  • Graphic Organizing software
  • Microsoft Word accessibility features


  • Eye Gaze board
  • Object communication boards
  • Single message voice output device
  • Multi-message voice output device
  • Voice output with multiple levels
  • Voice output with dynamic display


  • Non-slip surface on chair to prevent slipping
  • Bolster, rolled towel, blocks for feet
  • Adapted/alternate chair, sidelyer, stander
  • Custom fitted wheelchair or insert


  • Counters/manipulatives
  • Flash cards
  • Rubber stamps for numbers/graphs
  • Calculator
  • Talking calculator
  • Math software
  • Graph paper to organize math problems
  • Recorded word problems
  • Computer calculator
  • Math fact sheets

Assistive Technology Policy


Harvey County Special Education Cooperative is committed to providing appropriate assistive technology to students with disabilities. The school district is also committed to training teachers, paraprofessionals, and students on how to most effectively use assistive technology. The need for assistive technology must be determined on a case-by-case basis. If the IEP team determines that a particular assistive technology item is required for the student to be provided a reasonable educational benefit from his/her education program, the technology must be provided to implement the IEP. A student may need assistive technology in multiple environments in order to receive a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). Assistive technology may be provided as special education, related services, or supplemental aids and services for students with disabilities who are educated in regular classes.

Assistive technology refers to the need for the use of devices and services to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of students with disabilities. An “assistive technology device” refers to 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 functional capabilities of students with disabilities. An “assistive technology service” refers to any service that directly assists a student with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. Such term includes:

  1. The evaluation of the needs of such child, including a functional evaluation of the child in the child’s customary environment;
  2. Purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by such child; 
  3. Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology devices;
  4. Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as those associated with existing education and rehabilitation plans and programs;
  5. Training or technical assistance for such child, or where appropriate, the family of such child; and
  6. Training or technical assistance to individuals who provide services to, employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of such child.

The District is responsible for assistive technology evaluations. The need for assistive technology will be determined by using the following procedure:

  1. Team members identify the difficulty the student is experiencing and discuss the possible causes.
  2. Team members review and gather baseline data.
  3. The team identifies needs and generates possible assistive technology solutions. (May use Assistive Technology Consideration Resource Guide or Assistive Technology Checklist)
  4.  During a specified time frame, assistive technology trials are completed and data is collected.
  5. The team analyzes data and makes decisions about the use or permanent acquisition of one or more assistive technology tools and/or services. These instructional resources allow learning goals to be attainable by individuals with wide differences in their abilities to see, hear, speak, move, read, write, understand English, attend, organize, engage, and remember.
  6. If specific assistive technology is identified as being needed, it will be included in the student’s IEP.
  7.  At any time, if the IEP team members need additional help in determining if a student needs assistive technology devices or services, the Assistive Technology Resource person may be requested for help. The IEP team would complete the Referral form for Assistive Technology Evaluation and Services.