Bridges Resource Library

Accessible Assistive Technology

Updated as of May 18, 2024.

What is Assistive Technology?

In the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the federal law that created Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), “assistive technology devices” (AT devices) have a broad definition and, essentially, anything that helps a student with a disability do something is an AT device (see the legal definition below). In fact, if the last three words (with a disability) were deleted, everything from pencils and paper to iPads and laptops would be considered AT devices for all students.

Definition of assistive technology device

“any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a child with a disability.” 20 U.S.C. §1401(1).

What is Accessible Assistive Technology?

Accessible AT devices are those that can be used efficiently, effectively, and sustainably by a person with a disability. Examples of accessible AT devices include screen reading software (JAWS, VoiceOver), refreshable Braille displays, video digital magnifiers (CCTVs), etc. These tools allow blind/low vision students to access the same educational information that non-disabled students do.

Contact the Bridges Helpdesk for More Information

This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.

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