The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) identifies Assistive Technology into two broad categories: Assistive Technology Devices and Assistive Technology Services.  An Assistive Technology Device is “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.  An Assistive Technology Service is “any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.”  AT technical services include, but are not limited to evaluation, acquisition, modification/customization, training, and technical support.

AT assessments are conducted by the multidisciplinary Assistive Technology Team composed of an Assistive Technology Program Specialist, Speech Pathologists and Occupational Therapists.  Exceptional Services students (or students being evaluated for Exceptional Student Services) with significant limitations in written or verbal communication, seating or positioning, computer access and computer based instruction in reading and math should be referred when standard modifications/accommodations have not been successful.

Accessible Educational Materials   (AEM)

Accessible Educational Materials, or AEM, are materials and technologies usable for learning across the widest range of individual variability, regardless of format or features. Whether a material or technology is designed from the start to be accessible for all learners or is made accessible for learners with disabilities, it is considered AEM.

Many materials used by students in the classroom are print-based, such as textbooks and hand-outs. Some students with physical, sensory, or intellectual challenges may have difficulty reading these materials. To bridge this gap, AEM provides the same information found in print-based materials. These materials are presented in formats that students with disabilities can use. Examples of formats that are used to make the information in printed materials accessible are Braille, large print, audio, and digital text.
Contact Exceptional Student Services at (225) 929-8600.