Assistive TechnologyAssistive technology devices, software and services are available at Pflugerville ISD to Special Education students who demonstrate a need for AT in order to access instruction and participate in learning. The Individuals with Disabilities Act requires the ARD committee to consider assistive technology for all students in special education.The legal definition of assistive technology is very broad, giving IEP teams flexibility to determine appropriate AT devices and services for students. Assistive technology can be simple and low-tech - such as a white cane used for navigation by a student with a visual impairment - or sophisticated - such as a Chromebook used by a student with a reading disability for listening to audio books or producing written work with supports such as voice recognition.
Assistive technology devices are available in a variety of categories, including:
Assistive technology includes technology solutions that are generally considered instructional technology tools, if they have been identified as educationally necessary and documented in the student’s IEP. For example, a classroom computer with a word processing program can be considered assistive technology for a student who demonstrates difficulty in writing and spelling if the IEP team has determined that it is educationally necessary.
- Academics: Devices such as calculators, spell checkers, portable word processors, software and applications to support access to the curriculum;
- Aids for Daily Living: Items to help students with self-help skills such as eating, drinking, dressing and toileting;
- Assistive Listening Devices: Aids such as amplification devices, closed captioning systems, and environmental alert systems that assist students who are hard of hearing or deaf with accessing information that is typically presented through an auditory modality;
- Augmentative Communication: Electronic and non-electronic devices and applications that provide a means for expressive and receptive communication for students with limited speech and language;
- Computer/iPad Access: Input and output devices, alternative mice, modified or alternative keyboards, switches and software that enable students to use computers, Chromebooks and iPads;
- Mobility: Equipment such as manual and electric wheelchairs, walkers, scooters and gait trainers that are used to increase mobility;
- Pre-vocational and Vocational: Aids such as picture-based task analysis sheets, adapted timers and switch-operated equipment used to assist students in completing pre-vocational and vocational tasks;
- Recreation and Leisure: Items such as adapted books, switch-operated toys, and adapted PE equipment designed to increase participation and independence in recreation and leisure activities;
- Seating and Positioning: Adaptive seating systems and positioning devices that provide students with optimal positioning to enhance participation and access to the curriculum;
- Vision: Equipment such as magnifiers, talking calculators, Braille writers, and screen-reading software programs that assist students with visual impairments or blindness in accessing and producing information that is typically present in a visual format.
Application to support struggling learnersAll students in the district have access to an application called Read&Write. The program provides word prediction, spell check, read-aloud capabilities, translation, voice recognition and vocabulary support. For more information, visit the Texthelp website.For more information, contact:Assistive Technology Specialist512-594-0181