Assistive Technology for
Transition-Aged Students with Disabilities
An assistive technology (AT) device helps a person with a disability complete an everyday task (like communicating), increase independence, and can enhance his or her quality of life.
An assistive technology service helps a person with their AT device, which can include evaluating, acquiring, fitting and customizing, and training both the individual and professionals to use the device.
Assistive technology should be considered every year during your student’s annual review to see if it can increase his or her independence. Could some of the services your student receives from a person be replaced by AT? (For example, voiceactivated typing vs. an assistant to type things out.)
Not already using AT? Ask for an AT assessment in writing. Even the trial of AT services and products can be added to an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504. Be sure you know who at the school to follow up with.
Make sure your student is included in decision making and encourage them to try AT to find out which items might be a good fit. Self-advocacy also plays an important role: Your student should know when to ask to use their AT device, and to discuss how it is/is not working.
Trial and error help your student figure out which AT devices and services work best. Does the device make the task easier or more complex?
TYPES OF ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY
Computer Access Alternative mouse or keyboard, text to speech or speech recognition software
Lecture Digital recorder, FM listening device, computer for taking notes
Personal Organization Talking watch, print or picture schedule, voice output reminders for tasks and assignments
Studying/Learning Personal data assistants, graphic organizer software, digital recorder, software for organization of ideas, computer files provided by professor
Test-taking Use of computer in class
Math Talking calculator, accessible math software, calculation chart, visual graphing software
Reading Audio book, large-print, braille material or computer braille display, text-to-speech applications, scan-and-read software and pen, screen magnifier
Writing Computer or portable word processor, electronic spellchecker and dictionary, speech recognition software
Worksite Modification Wall partitions around workstation to minimize distractions, adjustable desks and seating, ramps, lifts, mobile arm supports and wrist rests, monitor risers, glare guards, modification of worksite temperatures, anti-fatigue mats
Assistive Devices Adapted computer setup, amplified phone or text telephone, augmentative communication device, electronic alarms and reminders, viibrating pager, assistive software such as voice recognition and word prediction
Flexible job schedules, flexible work hours and flexible use of leave time, part time hours, more frequent breaks, telecommuting or working from home
Human Supports Readers, scribes, interpreters, job coach or mentor
Home Living Accessible control devices for TV, telephone, computer, lights, and other electronic appliances, remote paging system to call for assistance, home computer with adapted set-up, adapted self-care aids (such as a shower chair or dressing stick), accessible home design (such as wider doorways, railings, and ramps), emergency alert devices in bathroom and bedroom, personal attendant services
Recreation and Leisure Accessible arts programs, adapted clothing for indoor and outdoor activities, assistive listening and audio description systems in theaters, motorized shopping carts, adapted recreation activities and classes, accessible game controllers and TV remotes, adapted camping gear
Transportation and Travel Wheelchair accessible buses, vans, and taxis; vehicles with adapted driver controls (such as hand controls or pedal extenders); accessible parking; global positioning systems (GPS)types
RESOURCES IN NEW YORK STATE
TRAID: Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities (TRAID)
ACCES-VR: Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation
Center on Technology and Disability - www.ctdinstitute.org
Center for Implementing Technology in Education - www.cited.org/index.aspx
Rehabilitative Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America - www.resna.org