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Assistive Technology

Technology can have an impact on many aspects for our lives. This section includes resources on the wide range of technology that is available today.
  • Communication - This page provides technology resources that address any component of the communication process.
  • Computer Access - This page supplies resources on programs, software and devices that provide alternate ways to access the computer.
  • Home & Personal Care - This page offers resources on technology that assist with home life (cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundry and managing money) and personal care (getting dressed, eating, grooming and bathing).
  • Literacy - This page supplies technology resources that focus on literacy or reading and writing skills.
  • Math - This page contributes technology resources that address math skills.
  • Mobile Devices - This page contributes resources related to the array of mobile devices (iPads, Android, Kindle, etc.) that are available and how they can be used to support education.
  • Science & Social Studies - This page supplies resources on technology with a focus on science and social studies.
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Showing Results 1 - 50 of 287
Description: IDEA: Assistive Technology Devices and Services for Children With Disabilities Under the IDEA (Jan. 22, 2024) - The Office of Educational Technology and the Office of Special Education Programs are pleased to share the guidance in support of children with disabilities who need assistive technology (AT) devices and services for meaningful access and engagement in education. A Dear Colleague Letter (Jan. 22, 2024) on the provision of assistive technology devices and services for children with...
Description: A transition guide to help you or someone you love transition to self-determination across all areas of their life. This includes a list of questions to consider from ages 10-22.
Description: Student Self-Evaluation Matrix - QIAT-PS has also developed a set of student quality indicators for assistive technology with an accompanying Student Self-Evaluation Matrix tool for students to rate themselves on their AT skills. The tool is useful to both students struggling to manage AT in higher education settings and for K-12 programs to assist students in enhancing self-awareness and problem solving with AT for better transition outcomes. (QIAT-PS = Quality Indicators for...
Description: Do you support students as they transition to school or work environments? Do you support students as they transition to school or work environments? The following list of webshops and resources can help you learn more about:  The transition process for students, especially those who use assistive technology (AT), from high school to postsecondary institutions such as 2 and 4 year colleges, How to design transition plans that can lead to positive post-school outcomes for students with...
Description: Digital Books can help students who have difficulty reading print independently.  The following resources allow students to listen or read books in a digital format.  Digital Books, from AIM-VA and Bookshare, are free for students to use. Review their information for how teachers can get students enrolled. Other websites listed here can provide digital books that students can use from home as well as school. Check out this list of digital book options to determine which your student...
Description: Assistive Technology That's Built Into Mobile Devices - Most smartphones and digital tablets have built-in assistive technology (AT) that can help with learning and thinking differences. The range of AT features varies depending on the device’s operating system. But iOS devices like iPhones, as well as Android devices like Samsung Galaxy phones, all have built-in AT tools. You don’t need to buy special apps to use these built-in AT features.
Description: The Elements of I'm Determined comprise the essentials necessary for increasing self-determination skills. These skills, abilities, and beliefs are grounded in self-determination research. A poster, that is a simple reminder of the Elements and their definitions, is available to download.
Description: Hanover reviews definitions and key components of digital citizenship, and provides guidelines on how to teach and promote students’ digital citizenship skills. In addition, this research brief provides guidelines on the effective use of technology in and outside the classroom.
Description: ‘Model as a MASTER PAL’ was developed to help shape behaviors and belief systems of communication partners supporting individuals who use AAC.  It was developed from the premise that 1) AAC implementation is not intuitive, and 2) communication is not compliance. This training series assumes topics related to core vocabulary instruction and explicit creation of communication opportunities have already been covered, and communication partners require additional information to...
Description: All people with a disability of any extent or severity have a basic right to affect, through communication, the conditions of their existence. Beyond this general right, a number of specific communication rights should be ensured in all daily interactions and interventions involving persons who have severe disabilities.
Description: This project began with a desire to identify the vocabulary words that were most important to support the success of beginning communicators participating in the Dynamic Learning Maps® alternate assessments in English language arts and mathematics. Through the years, the list first led to the development of the DLM First 40 and eventually to the Universal Core vocabulary for Project Core. The resulting Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) and Universal Core Vocabulary Sort is a list of words that...
Description: VDOE's Assistive Technology Network has a newly updated Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) section of their website. What is AAC? When to consider? Assessment Information Gathering Current Communication Skills Access Direct Selection Indirect Selection Decision Making Trials Develop a Plan Prompting Data Collection Tool Selection and Funding Implementation Planning and Support Training Device Set-up Customization Vocabulary Selection And more!
Description: We all know that communication is a fundamental human right. However, individuals who have difficulty with spoken language will need augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) supports to communicate effectively. The resources below provide foundational knowledge about AAC, selection of AAC supports and vocabulary, and how to be a great communication partner for AAC users. Check out these Professional Learning Possibilities: Mindset  Article: Five Signs Your Child Needs Augmentative...
Description: National Assistive Technology (AT) Awareness Day celebrates the vital role AT plays in the lives of people with disabilities and older adults. AT is any item, device, or piece of equipment used to maintain or improve the independence and function of people with disabilities and older adults. AT solutions are as diverse as the goals of the millions of people who benefit from them. A few examples of AT that capture this diversity include speech-generating devices, video magnifiers, timers,...
Description: The attached chart helps you to identify vocabulary for your student's AAC System.
Description: Small Talk Speech Therapy debunks seven common myths about AAC, including why speech-language pathologists should not be the only ones providing AAC instruction.
Description: This article discusses the essential components of a robust communication system.
Description: These resources help to create a plan for how AAC can be implemented throughout the day.
Description: Assistive Technology for People with Brain Injury (BrainLine) - A traumatic brain injury can bring with it all sorts of challenges. A person’s balance may be off; he may have lost part of his field of vision; or his memory might be so compromised that within moments of seeing or hearing something, it’s gone. But like a magnifying glass for someone who has trouble reading the small print, there are many assistive technologies available for people with TBI. What is Assistive...
Description: This is a listing of multimodal activities to enhance learning for students using all forms of communication.
Description: Language is about connecting with other people. If you can focus on providing robust AAC and teaching language skills that allow AAC learners to connect with people in their lives, you will make a real difference!
Description: The 2022 VATTS: Resource Guide provides instructional strategies, AT solutions, modifications, accommodations, and examples used to address areas of need identified through the AT consideration process to support student success. There are two Resource Guide PDFs: an ADA Compliant version and a printable table version.
Description: The 2022 Virginia Assistive Technology, Tools, and Strategies (VATTS) Resources will guide the IEP team through the consideration and documentation process. These resources replace the previous versions of the AT Consideration and Resource Guide. VATTS: Consideration and Assessment Guidance Document (PDF) - Guidance for school divisions in the consideration and assessment of AT, including planning and implementing those services for students with disabilities. VATTS: Consideration...
Description: Easterseals UCP provides meaningful and exceptional services so that children, adults and families living with disabilities, behavioral health challenges and autism can live, learn, work and play in their communities. Easterseals UCP’s Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) services provide home and community-based supports that help children and adults be engaged and contributing members of their family and community. Our Behavioral Health programs are evidenced-based and...
Description: First responders and other emergency personnel are starting to use this helpful tool to communicate with individuals who are not responding to verbal instructions or questions. These may be individuals who are non-verbal, on the autism spectrum, or simply feeling overwhelmed or confused. By pointing to pictures on the ECB, emergency personnel can focus their need for information with the individuals level of understanding, ideally securing even a yes or no response allowing them to provide...
Description: Emergency Communication Boards (Chileda Institute) Paramedic & Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Symbol Board (Widget Health) Emergency Chat Google App Developing Positive Interactions for People with Developmental Disabilities and First Responders, Police, and the Justice System: A Guide for People with Developmental Disabilities and Their Loved Ones (2021) (The Arc of Northern Virginia)
Description: This Wheel of Apps for Complex Communication Support Needs (AAC) has been given a refresh and update. This 'wheel' of Apps provides a categorised guide to iPad Apps for individuals with complex communication support needs, who may need to use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). We appreciate that identifying AAC Apps from the many available can be a difficult and challenging task, so we hope that in creating and sharing this resource, it will help you with that process. (10/2023)
Description: Tools that help people communicate are called Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), and can range from simply utilizing pictures to a high-tech device such as a tablet, iPad, or computer. Here are some guidelines that can help parents recognize when to consider AAC: Child isn’t talking at all Children start saying words by the time they are between 12 to 18 months old, and begin combining 3 to 5 words together into sentences by the time they reach preschool. If a child is over...
Description: This booklet defines Special Education Terms (Birth to 22) as well as General Disabilty Terms.
Description: View OCR Video Series on Accessibility - The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights announces a video series covering a variety of topics on digital access in education, including how people with disabilities use technology, applicable Federal regulations, and identifying and remediating barriers to access.  Whether you are in the educational field or not, these videos have wide ranging coverage for those who want to know: What makes technology accessible for...
Title: PhraseReader
Description: Make text easier to read on small screens. Make reading as effortless as watching a video. Read faster, by reading whole phrases at a time. Speed through any text, with better comprehension. Zoom your screen in or out to adjust the font size. Use the auto-speed or click the next phrase button.
Title: Readsy
Description: Readsy is a tool to help you skim large amounts of text by focusing your eyes on one word at a time without having to move them. It is powered by Spritz, a speed reading app. To register for higher speeds, click "Login" on the top right of the Spritz box, and create an account with Spritz.
Description: Make Stuff and Love People has over 1,500 images and 500 QR codes to "how-to" videos and resources for immediate access using any smartphone camera. The book is packed with devices that can be made in minutes for physical, visual, hearing, communication, or other challenges. "How-to" instructions for devices include those for reading and writing; life skills; employment; alternative communication; mounting devices to mobility aids; tablet and phone holders; self-care, eating, drinking, art, and...
Description: The Color Coded Eye Gaze frame (adapted by Erickson, 2000) is intended for students with multiple significant physical and hearing impairments, including those with unknown cognitive skills. The eye gaze frame is often used by students that are unable to hold a pencil or unable to physically manipulate a standard or an enlarged keyboard. For students who have such challenges, using their eyes can be the easiest. Students need to have some degree of vision, but it does not need to be completely...
Description: The Center for Literacy & Disability Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill has developed a variety of “alternative pencils” for students with the most significant disabilities, including deaf-blindness. All the alternative “pencils” have been designed for students who are unable to hold a traditional pencil or physically manipulate a keyboard. Instead, the alternative pencils tap into students’ other developing abilities. For example, the alphabet eye gaze frame may be...
Description: Executive Function and Organization - Students with ASD often have a very uneven learning profile. For example, they may have excellent long-term and rote memory abilities but have executive function deficits. Executive function challenges can include difficulties with general organization and planning skills, problems with impulsivity and problem-solving, and challenges with goal completion. Common learning challenges and possible accommodations and supports include: Providing notes or review...
Description: In this video, Arlington Public Schools AAC Implementation Coaches Brittany Thomas and Erin Tokajer, and Arlington parents Janna Dressel, Brandi Horton and Cecilia Kline, share strategies on supporting AAC use in the home setting.
Description: These worksheets are accessible to all users (visually impaired, blind, keyboard users, and non-visually impaired). Please note that they will be adding new worksheets on an on-going basis, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back to see what's new!
Description: The Joy Zabala Fellowship in Assistive Technology and Accessible Educational Materials celebrates the life and work of Joy Smiley Zabala, EdD, who had a substantial impact in her 40+ year career in promoting inclusion for learners with disabilities in K-12, postsecondary, and workforce settings. The fellowship will support emerging, early career professionals who, in collaboration with a seasoned mentor, will a) strengthen their expertise and skills in the use of assistive technology and...
Description: In January 2020, Virginia legislators passed House Bill 817 requiring the Department of Education (VDOE), in collaboration with the Department of Health and medical professional societies, to develop health and safety guidelines related to the use of digital devices in the classroom. The VDOE convened a Digital Devices in the Classroom Workgroup to develop guidelines.  The Digital Devices in the Classroom: Health and Safety Guidelines document addresses digital device use for different age...
Description: The Virtual Assistive Technology Lab (Virtual AT Lab) includes information on the following topics: Reading, Communication, Writing, Organization, Math, Access, Sensory, and Resources & FAQs.
Description: AT3 Center is your one-stop connection to information about the Assistive Technology Act, State Assistive Technology Programs, and general assistive technology. The purpose of the AT3 Center is to provide training and technical assistance for all AT Act Section 4 State and Territory Assistive Technology Programs and to support a national internet site that makes general AT information available to the public and other stakeholders.
Description: AFIRM Modules are designed to help you learn the step-by-step process of planning for, using, and monitoring an EBP with learners with ASD from birth to 22 years of age. Supplemental materials and handouts are available for download. Each AFIRM module provides: Key components of an EBP including the various approaches that can be used with learners with ASD Behaviors and skills that can be addressed using the practice A step-by-step process for applying the practice Specific resources that you...
Description: The purpose of these guidelines is to provide resources and suggestions to enhance the provision of services to students who are deaf and hard of hearing in order to support their educational goals. These guidelines are written for special and general education administrators, teachers of students who are deaf and hard of hearing (referred to by Virginia teacher licensure regulations as HI teachers and generally referred to as teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing-TODHH), general educators,...
Description: The 2024-2029 Educational Technology Plan for Virginia has been reviewed by the State Board of Education and was accepted as part of their Comprehensive Plan.
Description: This open house provides information on Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC), Computer Access Assistive Technology, Early Childhood/Play Assistive Technology, Literacy Assistive Technology, Low-Tech Assistive Technology, Math Assistive Technology, Organization Assistive Technology, and Sensory Assistive Technology.
Description: These are some interactive apps/websites that could be used to support literacy skills practice.
Description: Odyssey magazine is an award-winning publication published annually by the Clerc Center. Each issue is theme-based, focusing on topics of importance as they relate to research, philosophy, and application of practice of instruction in the deaf education classroom.
Description: Integrity Activities and Tools for Students - Building SEL (social and emotional learning) skills such as integrity requires face-to-face interaction, meaningful discussion, and reflection. Edtech is no complete substitute for that, but there are tools that can supplement the development of character, both in the classroom and at home. This article provides tips, tools, and actionable ideas for seamlessly integrating integrity and life skills-building into your content...
Description: Children’s Assistive Technology Service (CATS) provides for the re-use of pediatric rehabilitation equipment and assistive technology devices in Virginia.  CATS serves as a no-cost resource for children with disabilities who need adaptive equipment and whose families have limited resources. Children with adaptive equipment can:  play with their friends and siblings  participate in meals and bath times  explore their world, moving and learning  be more independent