The ABCs of Assistive Technologies
“Assistive technology (AT) can be defined as 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 individuals with disabilities. (29 U.S.C. Sec 2202(2)).”
Assistive technologies are mobility devices that can increase or improve the functional capabilities of students with special needs and many teachers, including those at VFES, are finding great use for them in the classroom.
But how do you know if a student would benefit from Assistive Technology? When a student is identified as one who may need the assistance of technology, educators enter the student into the SETT process (Student, Environments, Tasks, and Tools), an ongoing, collaborative decision-making process for the student’s team. The SETT framework guides the team to work together to find the best strategies or tools for that student in an attempt to break down any barriers to student achievement. These tools could be as simple and low tech as a pencil grip or as high tech and involved as an iPad with an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) App installed.