What is meant by "assistive technology" and what are some examples of assistive devices and resources that people can use to help learn more about technology?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Section 3.1.  of  Public Law 100-407,admitted on August 9, 1988  and renewed in 1998 in the Clinton Assistive Technology Act offers the following legal and official definition for Assistive Technology, or AT

"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 functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. AT service is directly assisting an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device."

Therefore, assistive technology, as its name implies, is an intervention that aids students and individuals with disabilities to interact easier with their immediate environment, to communicate better, and to lead more productive lives. AT includes adaptive, and rehabilitative interventions, which are all meant to include individuals with disabilities into society under the least threatening environment, and using technological devices as their support systems. These devices are not limited to mere computational gadgets; AT also includes prosthetic devices, cognitive adaptive technology, hearing aids, talking and communication objects, sports equipment and visual aids.

AT is protected under the technology-related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988, also known as “The Tech Act”.

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