What is Assistive Technology?
Assistive Technology (AT) is any item, device, or piece of equipment used to maintain or improve the functionality of people with disabilities, allowing them to be more independent in education, employment, recreation, and daily living activities. AT includes the services necessary to get and use the devices, including assessment, customization, repair, and training.
The Assistive Technology Act was first passed by Congress and signed by the President as the Technology-Related Assistance Act of 1988. It’s often called the Tech Act for short and has been reauthorized in 1994, 1998, and 2004.
The statute of the Tech Act is the bill that was passed by Congress into law and signed by the President. As mentioned above, the most recent reauthorization took place in 2004 as Public Law 108-364. Officially, this last reauthorization of the Act is called The Improving Access to Assistive Technology for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 2004. You can find a copy of the statute online:
The Assistive Technology Act of 2004 defines an assistive technology device in the following way:
…any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.
An assistive technology service is defined as:
…any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.
Under the law, each U.S. state and territory receives a grant to fund an Assistive Technology Act Project (ATAP). These projects provide services to persons with disabilities for their entire life span, as well as to their families or guardians, service providers, and agencies and other entities that are involved in providing services such as education and employment to persons with disabilities.
Oklahoma ABLE Tech
As Oklahoma’s Assistive Technology (AT) Act Program, ABLE Tech contracts with the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) to provide AT devices and services for Oklahoma public school students, educators, and families.
Take advantage of expert training events, consultations, and resources that ABLE Tech has to offer!
The Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team must consider whether the child needs assistive technology devices and services.
Per the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Assistive Technology (AT) must be considered for every student with a disability during the development, review, and revision of the IEP. This includes the Initial, Interim, Subsequent, Amended, and Modified IEP or when a team member deems it necessary.
The law is very clear that AT is to be included in a student’s IEP. Documenting AT in the IEP ensures there is a clear understanding of the AT devices and services that are needed for the student as identified by the IEP team.
Assistive Technology Technical Assistance (AT-TA) Document
For Children and Youth with Disabilities IDEA Part B
Revised June 2023