Assistive Technology

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Assistive Technology

What is Assistive Technology? Assistive Technology Act of 2004 defines an assistive technology device in the following way:...any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. (29 U.S.C. Sec 2202(2))

*What is Assistive Technology?*Law in Regard to Assistive Technology*AT and the Disability*References


An example of an AT to use for someone with a hearing impairment would be a hearing aid. Styles of hearing aids includebehind-the-ear (BTE); in-the-ear (ITE); and in-the-canal (ITC). Today with improvements in technology, most hearing aids are digital and programmable which allows them to be set very specifically based on each individual’shearing level at different frequencies.


A trackball mouse has the rollerball on top rather than underneath the mouse. Instead of moving the mouse to control movement, you move the rollerball. Some users find this easier to control. It also works well in conjunction with other devices, for example, head wands or mouth sticks.

The Assistive Technology Act was first passed by Congress and signed by the President as the Technology-Related Assistance Act of 1988. It’s often called the Tech Act for short and has been reauthorized in 1994, 1998, and 2004.Purpose of the Tech ActThe Tech Act is intended to promote people’s awareness of, and access to, assistive technology (AT) devices and services. The Act seeks to provide AT to persons with disabilities, so they can more fully participate in education, employment, and daily activities on a level playing field with other members of their communities. The Act covers people with disabilities of all ages, all disabilities, in all environments (early intervention, K-12, post-secondary, vocational rehabilitation, community living, aging services, etc.).

Law in Regard to Assistive Technology

Software playback systems are full-featured software packages designed to play AudioPlus CD books on a desktop or laptop computer. They are specially designed with the blind and visually impaired community in mind.


Heckendorf, S. (n.d.). Retrieved from Retrieved from technology center for nj colleges. (n.d.). Retrieved from, K., & Raskind, M. (n.d.). Retrieved from Retrieved from


A portable word processor is lightweight device that is easy to transport (e.g., from classroom to home). It can be helpful to kids who may have trouble writing by hand and prefer to use a keyboard. Word processing allows the user to edit and correct his written work more efficiently than doing so by hand.



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