Assistive technology can ensure that students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) by allowing access to the general education curriculum and settings, providing opportunities for active participation with same age peers, and facilitating progress toward their educational goals. In addition, AT can significantly impact independence, self-expression, self-esteem, and overall quality of life.
"Assistive technology device" means 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 a child with a disability. 34 CFR §300.5
"Assistive technology service" means any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. The term includes:
- The evaluation of the needs of a child with a disability, including a functional evaluation of the child in the child's customary environment;
- Purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by children with disabilities;
- Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology devices;
- Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as those associated with existing education and rehabilitation plans and programs;
- Training or technical assistance for a child with disability or, if appropriate, that child's family; and
- Training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals providing education or rehabilitation services), employers, or other individuals who provide services to employ or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of that child. 34 CFR §300.6
A Companion to Virginia's State Technology Plan
The Board of Education maintains a six-year plan to integrate educational technology into the Standards of Learning and the curricula of the public schools in Virginia. A companion document, Infusing Assistive Technology for Learning: Assuring Access for all Students (PDF), provides guidance on the inclusion of assistive technologies in educational technology planning.
- Assistive Technology: A Framework for Consideration and Assessment (PDF) – This document is intended to be used by school divisions as a framework for the development of assistive technology operating guidelines tailored to local resources and service delivery models and should be used in conjunction with federal and state regulations. This document does not replace any federal or state regulations. In addition, this information is provided to assist Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams in planning and implementing assistive technology (AT) services to students with disabilities.
- Assistive Technology Project – VDOE Training and Technical Assistance Centers
- Accessible Instructional Materials Center of Virginia (AIM-VA)
- National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS)