Assistive Technology Catagories

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Title | Defining AT | Defining IT | Defining AET | AT Categories | AT Checklist | AT Accommodations | Screen Readers | Example Materials

Assistive Technology Categories

Application Use

Personally necessary
for use by an individual student
Developmentally necessary
may be shared, meets an educational need based on developmental delay, allows active participation
Instructionally necessary
modifications to instructional process at grade level

(J. Judd-Wall categorizations)

Technology Levels

Low Tech
straws, Velcro, pencil grip, raised line paper, and oversized marking pens
Mid Tech
wrist stabilizer, tape recorders, calculators and switch operated toys
High Tech
computers, software, and motorized wheelchairs

Personal Use

bulletAids for Daily Living
Aids to improve self-help skills and encourage independence in activities such as cooking, eating, dressing, toileting, and home maintenance.
bulletCommunication/Augmentative Communication
Electronic and non-electronic devices that enhance communication skills for persons who are semi-intelligible or non-verbal.
bulletComputer Applications Input and output devices (voice, Braille), alternative access aids (headsticks, light pointers), modified or alternative keyboards, switches, special software, and other devices that enable persons with disabilities to use a computer.
bulletEnvironmental Control Systems
Environmental control systems are primarily electronic systems that enable someone without mobility to control various devices such as appliances, electronic aids, and security systems in her or his room, home or other surroundings.
bulletHome/Work Site Modifications
Modifications in the home or work environment to remove or reduce bathrooms, ramps, customized desks and work tables to accommodate wheelchairs, automatic door openers, alternate computer systems, and voice output devices for the blind or visually impaired.
bulletInstructional Material Aids
Computers with adaptive switches and keyboards that substitute for normal keyboard use or conventional handwriting; audiotape players, braille displays or print magnifiers for students who are blind or visually impaired.
bulletLeisure time or Recreational Adaptations
Structural adaptations to promote participation in cultural events and leisure time activities for individuals with disabilities.
bulletMobility Aids
Vehicles used to increase personal mobility including manual and electric wheelchairs, mobile bases for custom chairs, walkers, three-wheel scooters, scooters, walkers, modifications of vans for travel, and canes used by pedestrians who are blind or visually impaired.
bulletProsthetics and Orthotics Replacements, substitution or augmentation of missing or malfunctioning body parts with artificial limbs or other orthotic aids (splints, braces, etc.).
bulletSeating and Positioning Aids
Adapted seating, standing tables, seat belts, braces, transfer aids, cushions and wedges to maintain posture, and devices for trunk alignment that assist people in maintaining body alignment and control so they can perform a range of daily tasks.
bulletSensory Aids
Devices for people who are blind or visually impaired or hearing impaired. 
bulletVehicle Modifications Adapting driving aids, hand controls, wheelchairs, or other motor vehicles used for personal transportation.

(RESNA Categories)


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Copyright 2006 Drs.Cavanaugh  Last modified: March 06, 2008