Assistive Technology enables students with disabilities to access the curriculum, increase independence, and participate actively in education and life activities. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) federal regulations state:
…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 children with disabilities. 34 C.F.R. § 300.5.
…assistive technology service means any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. The term includes:
(a) The evaluation of the needs of a child with a disability, including a functional evaluation of the child in the child's customary environment;
(b) Purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by children with disabilities;
(c) Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, retaining, repairing, or replacing of assistive technology devices;
(d) Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as those associated with existing education and rehabilitation plans and programs;
(e) Training or technical assistance for a child with a disability, or if appropriate, that child's family; and
(f) Training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals providing education or rehabilitation service), employers, or other individuals who provide services to, employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of children with disabilities. 34 C.F.R § 300.6.
Region 9 provides:
AT is a critical component of inclusive practices for students with disabilities. Statewide leadership in this area is now being provided by the Inclusion in Texas Network. This network helps build capacity and to develop and appropriately implement instructional programs that provide meaningful access to inclusive environments and grade-level standards, thus improving academic and functional outcomes for students served by special education. Visit the Assisitve Technology page for legal references, professional development opportunities, AT integration into literacy and math initiatives, and other accessibility-minded resources.
The Inclusion in Texas Network has forged a partnership with The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) for FREE, online professional development courses for educators, support staff, and parents serving students in Texas.
These live and recorded webinars are hosted by national experts and address tools and devices, best practices, and implementation strategies for integrating assistive technology effectively into the home and classroom. Online courses are 60 and 90 minutes in length. Complimentary CEUs are available for completion of these programs.
Educators, support staff, and parents can use the unlimited access code - PD23INCLUSIONTX - through August 31, 2023 for any training offered via the Learning Catalog. Users must create an account profile, sign in, and follow the prompts. Click here for more detailed instructions.