Ensuring equal access to technology: Providing assistive technology for students with disabilities

With the passage of landmark federal laws, equal access to technology for all students, regardless of their abilities, has been getting increasing attention in the field of education. Although considering a continuum of assistive technology (AT) items and services for individuals with disabilities is a mandated practice, education and rehabilitation professionals are faced with challenges of providing effective AT service delivery due to lack of clear legal and practical guidelines. This article presents an overview of current AT services including service delivery models, universal design, effects of AT devices on students with disabilities, and issues and challenges in providing AT services. An embedded preliminary case study that explored how some of the education and rehabilitation agencies deliver AT services indicated that funding is the major issue, followed by lack of family participation, availability of devices, and lack of AT qualified personnel.

Lee, H., & Templeton, R.
Theory Into Practice, 47(3), 212-219.
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IDEA Disability Category: 
emotional disturbance
hearing impairment
intellectual disability
major-other health impairment
multiple disabilities
orthopedic impairment
specific learning disability
speech or language impairment
traumatic brain injury