Welcome to Assistive Technology Resources @ MTSD
What is assistive technology?
Assistive technology (AT) is any tool or device that a person with a disability uses to perform a task that he or she could not otherwise do without it or any tool the person uses to lessen or remove a barrier so that a task can be completed more easily, faster, or in a better way.
In educational settings assistive technology refers to any commercially available and "home made" products, instructional materials, and strategies that a student with a disability can use to assist in the learning process, to make the environment more accessible, or to enhance their overall independence.
Who benefits from assistive technology?
Any student with a disability from mild to severe may benefit from the use of assistive technology. There is AT to help an individual with most aspects of reading, writing, remembering, walking, sitting, hearing, seeing, and communicating. Any student who needs help with any of these life functions may benefit significantly from the use of an AT product.
What is the AT Continuum?
When many people think of assistive technology, they think primarily about computers or sophisticated electronic devices. However, it is important to realize that AT resources can be viewed as a continuum that ranges from "high-tech" to "low-tech".
- High Tech: these are devices which incorporate sophisticated electronics or computers (hardware and software)
- Mid Tech: these tools are relatively complicated mechanical devices that may need to be plugged in or use batteries
- Low Tech: these items are less sophisticated and can include devices that are readily available and require little maintenance
When investigating what type of AT a particular student might benefit from, a good approach is to start with low-tech solutions and then work up the continuum as needed.