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Background Materials and Resources

PART I: WHAT IS ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY?

Here is the legal definition of assistive technology from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990 (IDEA) P.L. 101-1476

20 U.S.C. 1401 Definitions


(a) (25) The term "assistive technology device" 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 functional capabilities of children with disabilities.

(a) (26) The term "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.

Such 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, maintaining, 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 and rehabilitation services), employers, or other individuals who provide services to, emply, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of children with disabilities.
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This material was developed by the National Center to Improve Practice (NCIP), located at Education Development Center, Inc. in Newton, Massachusetts.  NCIP was funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs from October 1, 1992 - September 30, 1998, Grant #H180N20013.  Permission is granted to copy and disseminate this information.  If you do so, please cite NCIP.   Contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by NCIP, EDC, or the U.S. Government.  This site was last updated in September 1998.

ŠEducation Development Center, Inc.