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Tuesday's Tip: 5 IEP Curriculums - #4 Assistive Technology

Today we are focusing on assistive technology and its importance in assisting the scholar in accessing their education. We frequently do not consider the many accommodations and modifications and the profound effect on the ease of access that they provide to the scholar. Whether high tech or low-tech assistive technology deserves consideration with those scholars who can benefit from its implementation.

4) Assistive technology devices/ services and curriculum

5) Behavioral curriculum

1) Core curriculum

2) Extracurricular and non-academic activity skills as well as recreation and leisure skills

3) Expanded curriculum / Disability specific curriculums /and independent functional skills across environments


The IEP must, as appropriate, include ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY. This includes:

  • Assessments

  • Devices

  • Curriculum

AT Devices

Assistive technology 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 scholar with a disability.

  • It includes high and low tech assistive and adaptive tools including hardware and software

  • instructional services that can enhance communication, mobility, access, and learning

  • It includes the use of school-purchased assistive technology devices in a scholar’s home or in other settings as required if the scholar’s IEP Team determines that the child needs access to those devices in order to receive a Free and Appropriate Education - FAPE.

  • It includes Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles for designing a curriculum that provides everyone with equal opportunities to learn. This includes:

    • Presentation of information, concepts, and ideas being learned

    • Accessibility to information, concepts, and ideas

    • Planned and applied to learn tasks

    • Engagement and sustained attention to learning tasks

    • Promotion of inclusion

    • Reducing barriers to curriculum

    • Offering personalized options and choices, as well as

    • Access to required technology in an equally effective way

AT Categories

Assistive technology can include computer software and hardware, environmental modifications, or assistive devices to facilitate tasks related to:

Mobility - wheelchairs, walkers, scooters, orthotic devices

Cognitive - computer or assistive devices for memory, attention, language or organization,

Speechspeech generating devices

Writing - voice recognition, grips, adaptive paper, braille, keyboards, note-takers, word processor, word predictor, spell or grammar checker

Reading - screen readers, screen enlargement applications, magnifiers, book readers

Visionenlargement or magnifiers of all kinds, books on tape, brailler

Fine motor- page-turners, book holders, pencil grips, switches, utensils /handles, eating assistance

Sensory Efficiency - environmental changes

Hearing - FM systems, closed captioning, narrated videos

Gross Motor - ramps, grab bars, widened doorways, reach extenders, mobility, cooking, dressing, and grooming, playing games

Device modification- phones, lights, computers, desks, chairs

Environmental modification - taping of environmental borders, adapting sound or lights

AT Services

IEP must include Assistive Technology Services, as appropriate

Assistive technology service includes any service that directly assists a scholar with a disability in the selection, acquisition or use of an assistive technology device.

Such as:

  • Assistive technology specialist to do a functional evaluation at home, school and community environments

    • IEP must note the start and finish dates of evaluation.

  • IEP must note the start of services and qualifications related to supports

  • Purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices

  • Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing AT devices

  • Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with AT devices

  • Training or technical assistance for the scholar, instructor, aide, the family/caregiver, and school professionals on the appropriate curriculum that leads to functional use and outcomes.

Equal Opportunities are provided With Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology Services Assure That:

  • Scholars with disabilities receive an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from goods and services because:

    • Scholars with disabilities may not be excluded from participation in nor denied the benefits of the goods, aids, services, programs, or activities of public schools,

    • Scholars with disabilities must have an equal opportunity to achieve the same result or the same level of achievement as others.

  • Separate or different aids, goods, benefits, or services given to peers may occur only if doing so is necessary to ensure that access is as effective as that provided to others.

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