Assistive Technology for Children

elementary chairWhat is Assistive Technology?

Assistive technology (AT) can be thought of as any item that supports a child’s ability to participate actively in his or her home, childcare program, school, or other community settings.  It is a broad term that includes items ranging from something as “low tech” as a foam wedge for positioning to something as “high tech” as a power wheelchair for independent mobility.  Other examples of AT for young children include items such as switch-operated toys, laminated picture boards, specialized drinking cups, adapted spoons, computers, and more.

Benefits of AT for Infants and Young Childrenbarbie time

Assistive devices and services can be of great value in providing infants and young children with disabilities opportunities to learn and interact with their environment in ways that might not otherwise be possible.  AT can help a child participate more actively in family, school and community activities; play successfully with toys and other children; communicate needs and ideas; make choices; move independently.

Accessing and Funding AT for Infants and Young Children

According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), all children who are eligible to receiveaccessible classrooms special education or early intervention services are also eligible to receive assistive technology if it is included as part of their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).

Children with disabilities, even those who are not eligible for special education under IDEA, may also be entitled to the provision of AT under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

There is much more detail about AT for individuals of all ages, and specifically for children, than can be detailed in this space.  Please contact ILR and ask for an ATP Specialist for more information.