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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 369
Description: Teens and tweens with learning and attention issues may struggle with self-control for a number of reasons. Certain apps can help them think before they act, keep their emotions in check and stay focused on specific goals. Here are five apps that may help teens and tweens with self-control. Price and availability may vary but were accurate at the time of publication, on February 25, 2016.
Description: Assistive technology is any kind of technology that can be used to enhance the functional independence of a person with a disability. Often, for people with disabilities, accomplishing daily tasks such as talking with friends, going to school and work, or participating in recreational activities is a challenge. Assistive Technology (AT) devices are tools to help to overcome those challenges and enable people living with disabilities to enhance their quality of life and lead more independent...
Description: Smartphones and tablets have only become ubiquitous in the last decade — but now, most of us can’t imagine life without them. Mobile devices have changed the way we communicate, access information, and learn. The possibilities they’ve opened up have also changed the way we interact with and think about subjects many people have trouble with, like math. Happily, there are a now multitude of mobile apps and computer programs that make numbers fun for all ages, and provide the...
Description: The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is committed to maintaining a website that is accessible to all — including people with disabilities — and to meeting or exceeding all state and national accessibility standards. As you know, a higher accessibility standard (WCAG 2.0 Level AA) for government websites will become effective on January 18, 2018.  Under VDOE’s plan to comply, all new content posted on the agency website after January 18, 2018, must meet the new...
Description: The following kids app reviews represent some of the best kids apps found in iTunes and the Android marketplaces. We cull the app marketplaces, talk with kids app developers, pay attention to the app buzz, and download and play 1000s of children's apps every year. We don’t spend much time writing about kids apps that we don’t think are worth your child’s time, thus most kids apps reviewed on this site get a rating of 3 stars or higher. That said, not all of these apps have...
Description: This section includes a compilation links to resources on: Benefits Civil Rights Community Life Education Employment Emergency Preparedness Housing Technology Transportation  
Description: Being a parent is the most wonderful—and hardest—job in the world. If you have a child with special needs, your job is no less wonderful, but it can be more complicated. Your child’s education is most likely an area of great interest to you. As a child with a disability, he or she may be eligible for special education services in school. If so, then it will be important for you to learn: more about special education; how special education services can support your child; and...
Description: AT Consideration Guide App: IDEA (1997) added the requirement that each IEP team consider the need for assistive technology as part of the Consideration of Special Factors. IEP teams must also document their consideration of assistive technology in the IEP plan. The consideration guide is to assist school divisions in developing a process for consideration of AT in the IEP process. (Free)
Description: This is a post by Kimberlee Rutan McCafferty, mother to two sons on the autism spectrum and an Autism Family Partner at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Summer vacation is ending all too fast, and before we know it those bright yellow school busses will be darting through our neighborhoods and a new school year will commence. Moving to a different classroom, grade, or school can be stressful for any child; for those on the autism spectrum, handling anxiety about the...
Description: The end-of-summer countdown has begun, and while most kids aren't thrilled with the prospect of going back to school, the transition can be especially tough for those with autism. Three experts share their best tips for making the process smoother—for children of all ages. If your child is in elementary school … If your child is in middle school … If your child is in high school …
Description: Download the free Dining Decisions game to your iPad, iPhone, or Android device and see how healthy you can make your food plate! This mobile app is a fun way for children ages 9 to 12 to learn how to make healthy food choices. Through a game, players sort foods into three different goups: Go, Slow and Whoa to earn points for healthy answers.
Description: The Digital Literacy portal is an initiative of the Obama Administration to serve as a valuable resource to practitioners who are delivering digital literacy training and services in their communities. As more and more jobs and educational offerings are available online, the ability to navigate the Internet is critical to participate more fully in the economy. Jumpstarted by a federal interagency working group dedicated to spurring the advancement of digital literacy across all age groups and...
Description: Looking for a roadmap to ensure that the technology in your workplace is accessible to all employees and job applicants? You've come to the right place! Whether you're just getting started on accessible technology or looking for more advanced guidance, PEAT offers resources that can help. This site includes resources on the following action steps: Learn More Get the Basics Assess Build Your Initiative Buy & Implement Communicate Measure Share What Works
Description: They say home is where the heart is… but an inaccessible home can easily break your heart. This month we’re focusing on ways to help you fall back in love with your home by improving access. From the techie overhaul, to the classic remodel to the DIY home hacker, there’s more than one way to modernize the home of your dreams. The Bathroom Conundrum To remodel or not to remodel? That is the question, and Richard Holicky has an answer. The Historic Remodel Mark Smith...
Description: Autism Speaks is excited to announce that the Community-based Skills Assessment (CSA), a tool to help you develop a personalized transition plan, is now an app, powered by Identifor.  Check out the app by downloading it in the Apple or Google store! The challenges associated with the transition from school services to adulthood for individuals with autism are well documented. Every individual with autism is different and as a result, there is no "one size fits all" plan for the path to...
Description: Project Aim: Develop a comprehensive implementation program for the delivery of Universal Core vocabulary instruction and augmentative communication supports using the multi-tiered system for augmenting language (mSAL). Goals: Teach students with significant cognitive disabilities and complex communication needs to use symbols included on augmentative communication systems to communicate with a variety of people for a variety of needs. Create and evaluate the mSAL with...
Description: The mission of Virginia's public education system is to educate students in the fundamental knowledge and academic subjects that they need to become capable, responsible, and self-reliant citizens. Therefore, the mission of the Virginia Board of Education and the superintendent of public instruction, in cooperation with local school boards, is to increase student learning and academic achievement.
Description: Explore our Web site to learn how we are living our mission to promote and provide equal access to communication and learning for students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind. The DCMP is an idea that works thanks to funding by the U.S. Department of Education and administration by the National Association of the Deaf. Services The DCMP provides services designed to support and improve the academic achievement of students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf,...
Description: This free texting app provides a picture-based system for individuals with disabilities, who are non-readers or who are not able to text using a standard touch screen keyboard. The user can send important preset message(s) (created by a family member or supervisor) to necessary preset contact(s) as email messages or text messages with one swipe or touch. Users can also receive messages sent to them by others using this app. Messages sent or received by the user can be read out loud using...
Description: The Division of Rehabilitative Services (DRS) at the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) is committed to improving the independence and employment of persons with significant disabilities, including youth in transition. This includes: Transition Services Flier (in English and Spanish) Transition Services Guide School to Work Transition Services provides the following: WHAT ARE TRANSITION SERVICES? HOW CAN YOUR DRS COUNSELOR ASSIST YOU? YOUR EMPLOYMENT GOAL(S) WILL INCLUDE...
Description: There are numerous studies in early childhood that show that AT can have a positive impact in just a short amount of time, yet research and anecdotal data still show the underutilization of technology. Leverage the ever expanding category of helpful items in the category of assistive technology to help young children with disabilities be included, grow, and learn. We can do this by:• Increasing and/or expanding our understanding of what assistive technology for children ages birth to 5...
Description: If you are disabled or are a caretaker of someone who is, it can be frustrating sometimes to find equipment that can help solve the daily living challenges you face. Things like being able to get in and out of bed, being able to sleep soundly, or being able to stay in bed without rolling and falling off the mattress can be difficult. Luckily there is a large range of bedding products to help solve these problems for you. The purpose of this guide is to help make your sleeping and...
Description: The Virginia Board is now accepting applications for the next session of Partners in Policymaking (PIP), a premier advocacy and leadership training program. The 2017-18 class will consist of seven two-day sessions beginning September of 2017 and lasting through April of 2018. Eligible applicants are adults with developmental disabilities and/or parents of young children with developmental disabilities. 
Description: The National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC) is the library of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). We collect, catalog, and disseminate the articles, reports, curricula, guides, and other publications and products of the research projects funded by NIDILRR. NIDILRR funds more than 250 projects each year that conduct research on a wide range of issues including technology, health and function, independent living, and capacity...
Description: For Educators and Professionals This site is designed to provide educators and professionals with practical information that can be used to identify and provide appropriate services to children with a brain injury. The following information is located within this section. TBI Identification Protocol: Information and documents related to how to identify a student with a traumatic brain injury. Manual: This will connect you with the Brain Injury in Children and Youth: A Manual for...
Title: Camera Mouse
Description: Camera Mouse is a free program that allows you to control the mouse pointer on a Windows computer just by moving your head. Clicking can be done by making the mouse pointer dwell over a spot on the screen (after first turning Clicking on in Settings). The program was developed at Boston College to help people with disabilities use the computer. The main audience for this program is people who do not have reliable control of a hand but who can move their head. People with Cerebral Palsy, Spinal...
Description: Natural Reader is a professional text to speech program that converts any written text into spoken words. The paid versions of Natural Reader have many more features. Download Free Version: Free to download and free to useCompatible with PDF, Word, webpages & moreMore offline voices More features about Paid Versions: Convert to Audio filesSync with iOS and Android appsUse OCR with Kindle, Adobe, iBooks & more What can NaturalReader do for you? Help people with dyslexia.Allow students to...
Description: The Justice Department today announced an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title III regulation to further clarify a public accommodation’s obligation to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services for people with disabilities.  The final rule provides that public accommodations that own, operate or lease movie theaters are required to provide closed movie captioning and audio description whenever showing a digital movie that is produced, distributed or otherwise made...
Description: From TV to smartphones to social media, our lives are dominated by 24/7 media exposure. Despite this, many children and teens have few rules around their media use. Parents, help your children balance their online and off-line lives! Some of the Media Use Plan Tips: Screens should be kept out of kids' bedrooms.  Put in place a "media curfew" at mealtime and bedtime, putting all devices away or plugging them into a charging station for the night....
Description: Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers are now growing up in environments saturated with a variety of traditional and new technologies, which they are adopting at increasing rates. Although there has been much hope for the educational potential of interactive media for young children, accompanied by fears about their overuse during this crucial period of rapid brain development, research in this area still remains limited. This policy statement reviews the existing literature on television, videos,...
Description: This policy statement focuses on children and adolescents 5 through 18 abstract years of age. Research suggests both benefi ts and risks of media use for the health of children and teenagers. Benefits include exposure to new ideas and knowledge acquisition, increased opportunities for social contact and support, and new opportunities to access health-promotion messages and information. Risks include negative health effects on weight and sleep; exposure to inaccurate, inappropriate, or unsafe...
Description: On 1 September 2016 Virginia launched its new Developmental Disabilities Medicaid Waiver Program. The Family & Individual (FIS) Waiver, the Community Living (CL) Waiver, and Building Independence (BI) Waiver, all now fall under the umbrella of the Developmental Disabilities Waiver Program. The Developmental Disabilities (DD) Waiver serves individuals of any age with a developmental disability. The new DD Waiver Program also covers children from birth through 9 years of age with a substantial...
Description: The vision of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (hereafter known as The Departments) is that 1) all young children will have adults in their lives who are well-informed on how to use technology to support learning at various ages; and 2) all young children will have opportunities to learn, explore, play, and communicate through a multitude of approaches, including the use of technology.  The purpose of this policy brief is to:...
Description: This policy brief promotes developmentally appropriate use of technology in homes and early learning settings. It was created by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help those who care for 0-8 year olds make wise decisions about technology use.  It provides four guiding principles for families and early educators, and includes a call to action for researchers and technology developers, highlighting topics for further research and...
Description: The AIM Explorer is a free simulation that combines grade-leveled digital text with access features common to most text readers and other supported reading software. Magnification, custom text and background colors, text-to-speech, text highlighting, and layout options are presented in a logical sequence to help struggling readers decide which of these supports might help them to access and understand text. The AIM Explorer is designed to be used by a reader working collaboratively with an...
Description: For more than a decade, the GCFLearnFree.org program has helped millions around the world learn the essential skills they need to live and work in the 21st century. From Microsoft Office and email to reading, math, and more, GCFLearnFree.org offers more than 180 topics, including more than 2,000 lessons, 800+ videos, and 55+ interactives and games, completely free. Educators' Resources Our curriculum staff has created the following guides to assist you in using GCFLearnFree.org content with the...
Description: The Net Cetera online toolkit offers free resources to help you teach people in your community about kids’ online safety. Regardless of your experience as a speaker — or your expertise in online safety — this kit has the resources and information you need to convey key points about kids' online safety. How you use it is up to you: give a presentation to parents or teachers, play the videos in a classroom, and order our free booklets and distribute to schools or libraries.
Description: As of 2015, 92% of teens reported going online at least once per day. Of that 92%, there were 24% of teens who said they are online constantly. On average children ages 8 to 18 are spending 44.5 hours per week in front of screens. Overview: Why Is Internet Safety Important? What Is Cyberbullying? How Do I Know if My Child Is at Risk, or a Victim of Cyberbullying? How Can I Protect My Child's Online Reputation? How Can I Protect My Child From Identity Theft? Are Online Games Dangerous? How Can I...
Description: If you have just recently found out about your child’s hearing loss or know of a child who has been recently diagnosed with a hearing loss you are on the right track to finding more information for Virginia residents. Knowledge is power! Being informed in the area of deafness/hearing impairment and teaching your child or children with hearing losses to be independent is important.
Description: ATware Solutions, LLC. has been formed by a multidisciplinary team of people from several Virginia universities to produce software and hardware that can be used by people with disabilities, or professionals and families assisting people with disabilities.
Description: All students in tested grade levels and courses are expected to participate in Virginia’s assessment program, unless specifically exempted by state or federal law or by Board of Education regulations. Virginia’s assessment system includes students with disabilities and limited English proficient (LEP) students. Students with disabilities and LEP students may take Standards of Learning tests with or without accommodations or they may be assessed through alternate or alternative...
Description: This is a resource from ADDitude Magazine.  To download the resource you will have to enter your email address.  Help your gamer pick programs that boost attention and executive skills. Many kids with ADHD love their screen time. This free download contains the best recommendations, with ratings, for the video and computer games to choose from these favorites: Bad Piggies Roblox Minecraft Portal And much more!
Description: The Assistive Technology Loan Fund Authority offers creative and flexible services to open doors for individuals who might not otherwise be eligible for borrowing. Our mission is to provide alternative funding resources for Virginians with disabilities to acquire assistive technology that can enhance their independence and improve their quality of life. Any Virginian with a disability can apply for a loan with us, regardless of income and no matter how small a loan they might need. Credit...
Description: Social communication and social skill difficulties are core characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Deficits in social skills often have negative consequences that impact individuals’ outcomes in inclusive learning opportunities in schools and inclusive engagement in the communities. Though this social component is a widely known hallmark of ASD, intervention to support individuals’ mastery of these skills is still emerging in classroom and community environments across...
Description: Advisory: This Fast Fact contains adult content and may not be suitable for all readers In today’s technological world, the Internet has become an important and growing source of information and connectedness. The Internet is useful for many reasons, whether it is being used to chat with old friends, find directions to a restaurant, or read a movie review. However, individuals with ASD and their families may face unique challenges when attempting to safely navigate the web. It is possible...
Description: This site contains a Parent's Guide on Puberty for Boys with Disabilities and a Parent's Guide for Girls with Disabilities. This publication was developed and written by Vanderbilt Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND). The appendix has storyboards and visuals that you can use in implementing the methods outlined in the toolkit. This file is not included in the printed manual. You may choose to print the entire appendix, or you may want to print a particular page or set...
Description: We all have issues that don't go our way and end up straining relationships with others. It's what we do from that point that determines whether we can maintain positive relationships with those involved or further strain those connections. The Problem Resolution App is designed to help facilitate the collection of narratives of those involved in a particular dilemma. This is a great tool for counselors/facilitators/administrators to gather multiple perspectives around issues that arise. ...
Description: A variety of subject-focused, standards-based instructional materials are available to enhance inquiry-based learning with students. All activities are free and completely online. The instructional materials require no installations or logins and are device neutral. US History GeoInquiries: This collection of GeoInquiries is designed to enhance teaching of high school US history through maps. Earth Science GeoInquiries: This collection of GeoInquiries is designed to enhance teaching of Earth...
Description: We have developed Communication Guidelines and Resources to support educational team members in enhancing the communication abilities of students with ASD and to create lifelong learners. The Communication Guidelines and Resources are designed to: Enhance understanding of what communication is, Enhance understanding of why communication is important, and Advance expectations, knowledge, and skills related to communication based assessments, strategies, and supports. The Communication Guidelines...
Description: This is not an ‘all inclusive’ manual for assistive technology. It is a starting point to introduce what assistive technology is and how it can help. Each section of the booklet will give examples of devices for specific tasks or activities. For additional details and resources please see the “Where to go from here” section in the back of this booklet. A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) may cause many different problems: physical, sensory (sight, hearing or touch), cognitive...