Frequently Asked Questions on Assistive Technology


What are assistive technology devices?

An assistive technology device refers to any item, piece of equipment, or system, acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a child with a disability.

Who can use assistive technology?

Users of assistive technology are those who have disabilities that interfere with communication, learning, social relationships, mobility, and active participation.

How can you choose the assistive technology devices?

The choice is a decision made in coordination with a team of professionals and consultants trained to match particular assistive technologies to specific needs. An AT specialists may include family doctors, regular and special education teachers, speech-language pathologists, rehabilitation engineers, occupational therapists, and other specialists.

What type of disabilities require assistive technology devices?

The following are the areas where there may be a need for AT devices:

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Blindness and low vision
  • Deafness and hard of hearing
  • Computer access problems
  • Communication disorders
  • Mobility impairment
  • Mounting systems
  • Learning disabilities
  • Cognitive disabilities
  • Web accessibility
  • Augmentative and alternative communication devices (AAC)
What type of devices fall in the AT category?
  • Low tech tools like communication boards made of cardboard or fuzzy felt.
  • special-purpose computers.
  • prosthetics, mounting systems, and positioning devices.
  • special switches, keyboards, and pointing devices.
  • screen readers and communication programs.
  • AT may include specialized learning materials and curriculum aids.
  • specialized curricular software.
  • electronic devices, educational software and much more.