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.
This term includes:
- the evaluation of the needs of such child, including a functional evaluation of the child in the child's customary environment;
- purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by such child;
- selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology devices;
- coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as those associated with existing education and rehabilitation plans and programs;
- training or technical assistance for such child, or, where appropriate, the family of such child; and
- training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals providing education and rehabilitation services), employers, or other individuals who provide services to, employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of such child.
Per IDEA 2004, assistive technology needs to be considered for every student with an IEP, regardless of their disability. It is the responsibility of every IEP team to consider the student's need for assistive technology. Although consideration can occur at many stages of a student's educational journey, it must always be done as part of a team's discussion of special factors at a student's annual review and three-year reevaluation. Consideration is based on the unique IEP goals, IEP benchmarks or objectives, and curricular goals of a student. In addition, a range of assistive technology should be considered, including low/light, mid, and high tech. An IEP team may find that a student requires a system of tools. For example, a student who struggles with the motor aspects of writing may require the following system of tools: adapted pencil for short answers, a word processor for note taking and paragraph writing of one to three paragraphs, and speech recognition software for writing over three paragraphs.