A Handbook for Parents and Caregivers

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					Assistive technology for school
                   Age children
                with disAbilities
     A Handbook for Parents and Caregivers

                   Promoting greater access to technology for
                   Idaho’s school age children with disabilities
This handbook was written and compiled by the Idaho Assistive Tech-
nology Project. We wish to thank the Idaho State Department of Education,
Bureau of Special Education; the Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology
(QIAT) Consortium; AT projects from Wisconsin, Georgia, and other states;
United Cerebral Palsy Associations; the Center for Applied Special Technology;
and, RESNA for research and technical information supplied for prepara-
tion of this document.
Illustrations by Sarah Moore, Sue House and Martha Perske
Design by Jane Fredrickson

This handbook is designed as an assistive technology (AT) guide for
parents and families in Idaho, who have children with disabilities. It pro-
vides specific information about assistive technology devices and service
options available to school age children (ages three to twenty-one), who
have physical, cognitive, social and/or emotional, or adaptive disabilities.
The handbook also outlines the process of acquiring assistive technology
and the training for using it. It identifies agencies, supportive services,
funding options, and resources pertaining to assistive technology for
children from birth to twenty-one years.
An essential focus of the guide is to help parents and advocates under-
stand the legislation and rights of children regarding the use and avail-
ability of technology. It will help schools and families take the necessary
steps to include assistive technology (AT) in the daily lives of school age
children who need it.

Funding for this project is made available in part through the U.S. De-
partment of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration (Contract
# H224A060012A).

  Written and compiled by
  LaRae Rhoads, Michelle Doty and Ron Seiler
  Idaho Assistive Technology Project
  Center on Disabilities and Human Development
  University of Idaho
  Moscow, Idaho 83844-4401

  Revised February 2007
                         Table of ConTenTs
Inside front cover       Acknowledgments
Inside front cover       Purpose of Handbook
                 3       I.    The Importance of Assistive Technology in Education
                 3             What Is Inclusion?
                 4             How Do Parents find Help for Children with Disabilities?
                 5       II.   Assistive Technology (AT) and Special Education Law
                 5             What Is Assistive Technology?
                 6             What Does “Consideration” Mean?
                 6             Legislation Related to AT and Children with Disabilities
                11       III.  Examples of Assistive Technology (AT) for Children
                12             No Tech Accommodations for Children with Disabilities
                13             Possible Areas of Need for AT
                30             Switch Technology: A Key to Access and Independence
                36             Universal Design for Learning and Digital Curricula
                37             Home Modifications
                45       IV.    Guidelines for Selecting Assistive Technology (AT) for Children
                45             Rights and Safeguards of Children and Parents
                45             The Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team
                46             The Needs Assessment and the AT Evaluation
                49       V.    Assistive Technology (AT) in the Individualized Education
                               Program (IEP)
               49              What Is an IEP?
               51              Transition Services
               53        VI.   Acquisition of Assistive Technology
               53              What Is Advocacy?
               55        VII. Funding Assistive Technology (AT) for Children with Disabilities
               56              Guidelines for Developing a Funding Request
               59              Major Funding Sources for Assistive Technology
               63        VIII. Assistive Technology (AT) Resources for Children
                                with Disabilities
               63              Idaho State Agencies, Organizations and Resources
               69              National Organizations and Conferences
               73              Books, Catalogs, Publications
               75              Electronic Resources and Web Sites
               83        IX.    References
Inside back cover              Acronyms and Abbreviations Related to AT

                     Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities           1
2   Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
       I                     assisTive TeChnology for sChool
                             age Children wiTh disabiliTies
                             The imporTanCe of assisTive
                             TeChnology in eduCaTion
                             A universal expectation of parents is that the schools their children at-
                             tend will provide them with the best possible opportunities for learning.
“We know that                Parents who have children with disabilities have the same expectation
                             as any other parent. Disabilities, which limit a child’s ability to be
all children learn           actively engaged in learning, may cause delays in physical, cognitive,
differently. Universal       communication, social/emotional, and adaptive development. To
Design for Learning          develop their skills, some children may need to use additional items
                             or devices that are larger, easier to handle, color coded, electronically
makes the school             powered, or in some way more inviting. These are called assistive
curriculum available         technology (AT) devices.
in multiple ways:            Children with disabilities are assured a free appropriate public educa-
hands-on, visual,            tion (FAPE) through federal and state laws and policies. FAPE is the
                             foundation on which all special education programs are established.
auditory or a                Parents are included as active participants in all aspects of the special
combination.”                educational program. To insure that your child with special needs is
                             receiving FAPE, we encourage you to become well informed about
                – Doty       school programs, the rights of your child, and the positive impact AT
                             has on learning.

                             What Is Inclusion?
                             All learning environments should be accessible and supportive of ev-
                             ery single child. The concept of inclusion means that to the maximum
                             extent appropriate, children with disabilities have the right to learn
                             in the regular classroom, using the same curriculum as their peers.
                             In addition to AT, two important innovations in general curriculum
                             materials are increasing the possibility of inclusion for children with
                             disabilities. The goal of digital curricula is to make existing classroom
                             materials available in digital format so that they can be easily custom-
                             ized and made accessible for all students. The focus of universal design
                             of learning technologies is to develop new technologies for schools that
                             are accessible and supportive of all of the students in the school, right
                             from the start.

                         Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities                  3
        How Do Parents Find Help for Children with
Through special education programs, Idaho public schools provide sup-
port to children who have special needs. The intent of these programs is
to help children with disabilities develop their full potential in the natural
environment where they can learn best (least restrictive environment,
LRE). This may be in a small group setting; however, inclusion in the
regular classroom and having the opportunity to use the general cur-
riculum with their peers are ultimate goals for children with disabilities.
Assistive technology (AT) can help them reach these goals.
If you or your child’s teacher feel(s) that your child could benefit from an
AT device, the first step is to make a pre-referral to the special education
department in your local school. It may be that something as simple as
an adapted tool could help your child learn a required skill.
In Idaho public schools, the need for AT for children with disabilities is
addressed in several ways. The Idaho Assistive Technology Project (IATP),
in collaboration with the Idaho State Department of Education, has written
Assistive Technology in the Schools: a Guide for Idaho Educators. This guide
is used state wide in teacher training courses, and has been distributed
to all public schools in Idaho. Most state universities in Idaho include
the study of AT in their special education curriculum. Furthermore, the
goal of this handbook is to give parents insight into the impact AT can
have on their child’s educational development.
Information about current legislation and the AT needs
of children is available through your local school
district’s special education program, through
the Idaho Department of Education, Bureau
of Special Education at (208) 332-6910, or
through the Idaho Assistive Technology
Project (IATP) at 1-800-432-8324.

4         Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
                            assisTive TeChnology (aT) and
                            speCial eduCaTion law
                            Rapid advances in technology and legislation are raising the expectations
                            that technology will be an integral component of educational programs
                            for children with disabilities, from birth to twenty-one years. Indeed, the
                            explosion of assistive technology innovations and practical applications
                            is having a positive impact on the lives of individuals with disabilities,
                            regardless of age or disability. Evolving over time, the laws have estab-
                            lished and broadened the legal support for a free, appropriate public
“Assistive technology       education (FAPE). Each change has added significant mandates:

can be designed             1973    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504)
by a mother or an                   Prohibits discrimination
engineer.”                  1975    Education for all Handicapped Children Act (EHC, P. L. 94-142)
             – Hatten               Access to schools
                            1990    Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, P. L. 99-457)
                                    Access to classrooms
                            1997    Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA ‘97, P. L. 105-17)
                                    Access to the general curriculum
                            2004    Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act
                                    (IDEA 2004 P.L. 108-446)
                                    Access to the general curriculum

                            What Is Assistive Technology?
                            The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) defines AT in two
                            parts: assistive technology device and assistive technology services.
                            Assistive technology device means any item, piece of equipment, or prod-
                            uct system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or
                            customized that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional
                            capabilities of children with disabilities.
                            AT can be simple or complex. The federal definition contained in the IDEA
                            is very broad and has been interpreted to include such items as Velcro,
                            adapted clothing and toys, computers, seating systems, powered mobility,
                            electronic communication systems, and thousands of other commercially
                            available or home made items.
                            Assistive technology service, as it appears in the IDEA, means any service
                            that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition,
                            or use of an assistive technology device. Assistive technology services
                                    a. evaluating the technology needs of a child with a disability,
                                       including a functional evaluation of the child in the child’s
                                       customary environment;

                        Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities                  5
       b. purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition
          of assistive technology devices for children with disabilities;
       c. selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, apply-
          ing, retaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology
       d. coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or
          services with assistive technology (AT) devices, such as those
          included in the Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), as-
          sociated with existing education and rehabilitation plans and
       e. training or technical assistance for a child with a disability or,   “The earlier a child
          if appropriate, that child’s family; and,                            starts using low-tech
       f. training or technical assistance for professionals including indi-   assistive devices,
          viduals providing education services, or other individuals who
          provide services to, or are otherwise substantially involved in
                                                                               the more natural the
          the major life functions of a child with disabilities.               progression to high-
Although assistive technology may not be the solution, the evaluation          tech devices and the
team must give consideration to the AT needs of the child across his or her    greater the success
educational environment, which may include school, home, and com-
munity. If it is essential to the growth and development of a child, the       later on.”
IEP team should incorporate AT into the Individualized Educational Plan                       –Hatten
(IEP). Furthermore, the entire process, from assessment to acquisition and
use of the AT devices and services, should be documented.

       What Does “Consideration” Mean?
The essence of the IDEA ‘97 and 2004 legislation with regard to AT is
that AT devices and services must be made available to the child with
disabilities if required during any step of the special educational process:
pre-referral, referral, evaluation, Individualized Education Program (IEP)
development, implementation and annual review.
Because of the multi-level design of new electronic curricula, and flex-
ible options for access and use, universally designed learning materials are
gaining momentum in schools across the nation. Universal Design for
Learning holds great promise for children with disabilities in the general
classroom. It will expand the scope of consideration of AT.

       Legislation Related to AT and Children with
Often in the past two decades, the courts have been called upon to inter-
pret the laws that benefit children with disabilities. As a result, changes
related to AT have been incorporated into the latest re-authorization of
earlier laws. Legislative mandates requiring the consideration of AT

6         Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
                                    have become more specific. Federal and state laws that apply to AT and
                                    children with disabilities are briefly described below:

1973   Rehabilitation Act, Section 504 (Nondiscrimination) does not provide individual funding. It is a
       broad civil rights statute that requires equal access and equal opportunity to persons with disabilities
       (nondiscrimination). It affects a wide range of educational practices including the provision of services
       to students; physical accessibility, preparation of self-evaluations and transition plans for high school
       students, employment, and compliance procedures. Children who have disabilities, but who do not
       qualify for special education, may still be eligible for related services. Section 504 supports the legal
       right to assistive technology in the school setting if that technology is needed to ensure equal access
       to the full range of programs and activities, ie, wheelchair ramps or lifts for individuals with physical
       disabilities. (Reference: Technology and the IEP, RESNA, August 1992, Washington, D. C.)
       (For information regarding the responsibility of the school for the provision of AT under Section 504,
       contact the school district in your area; or, call the Idaho Careline at 1-800-926-2588, or the Idaho As-
       sistive Technology Project at 1-800-IDA-TECH v/tt (1-800-432-8324) or see the web site: www.idahoat.
       org for a link to RESNA.
1975   The Education of the Handicapped Act (EHA, Public Law 94-142) listed policies and mandates that
       govern the delivery of special education services. A child who was determined eligible under the
       provisions of this act gained the rights now incorporated in IDEA ‘97. Assistive technology devices
       and services were not included in the original special education legislation.
1988   Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act (TECH ACT, PL 100-407) pro-
       vided the original definitions of AT and AT services. The Tech Act defined assistive technology (AT) in
       two parts: assistive technology device; and assistive technology services. Since 1988, all laws related
       to individuals with disabilities have incorporated these same definitions for AT device (assistive tech-
       nology device, 20 U.S.C 1401 (a)(1) and AT service (assistive technology service, 20 U.S.C. 1401 (a)(2).
       See pages 5 and 6 for definitions.
1990   The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, P. L. 99-457) In 1990, the Education of the
       Handicapped Act was re-authorized and renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
       At that time, the U.S. Congress added or expanded services and categories, including the category of
       assistive technology (AT).
1997   The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA ‘97, P. L. 105-17) re-authorizes the IDEA,
       incorporating previous laws, amendments and policies. Furthermore, significant amendments were
       added which clarify and strengthen the mandate to consider assistive technology for any child with
       disabilities. IDEA ‘97 includes specific requirements to make assistive technology devices and services
2002   No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB, P.L. 107-110) covers all states, school districts, and schools that accept
       Title 1 federal grants and includes requirements about parental involvement, highly-qualified teachers,
       scientifically based reading instruction, tutoring and supplemental educational services, research-based
       teaching methods, and school and school district report cards.
2006   The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004, P.L. 108-446)
       re-authorizes IDEA and aligns closely to the No Child Left Behind Act in helping to ensure equity, ac-
       countability, and excellence in education for children with disabilities. IDEA 2004 refines the definition
       of AT. IDEA 2004 further requires teams to address not only the academic needs of the student, but also
       the functional, social, and behavioral needs as well.

                               Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities                       7
The IDEA 2004 provides for the following:
Consideration of AT for Children with Disabilities
■  The foremost requirement is that in developing each IEP, the IEP team
   shall consider whether the child requires AT devices and services; and,
   the nature and extent of the AT devices and services to be provided to
   the child must be reflected in the child’s IEP [Sec. 300.3420].
■  Central to the discussion of AT is the concept that students served
   under the IDEA receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE).
   This concept has proven to be the cornerstone and guiding principle
   in special education.
                                                                                “When considering
■  To support a student’s FAPE, the IDEA states that each public agency
   shall ensure that AT devices or services, or both, as those defined in       AT, look first at what
   Secs. 300.5-300.6, are made available to the child with a disability if      the child needs to
   required as part of the child’s IEP/IFSP.
                                                                                be successful and
■  The IDEA mandates that a child’s need for AT must be determined on
   a case-by-case basis and may be written into the IEP in three ways:          independent across all
   (a) special education under Sec. 300.36;                                     environments. Then,
   (b) related services under Sec. 300.34; or,                                  match the technology
   (c) supplementary aids and services under Sec. 300.38 and                    with the need.”
                                                                                                – Doty
■  On a case-by case basis, the use of school-purchased assistive tech-
   nology devices in a child’s home or in other settings is required if
   the child’s IEP team determines that the child needs access to those
   devices in order to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE),
   [20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(12)(B)(i)].

Rights of Children and Parents
The IDEA makes it possible for states and localities to receive federal funds
to assist in the education of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, children and
youth with disabilities. Basically, states must comply with the federal
laws, amendments and policies to assure:
■  The right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE), which includes
   special education and related services provided at public expense,
   under public supervision and at no cost to the parent(s);
■  The right to testing that does not discriminate on the basis of race,
   culture, language, or communication method;
■  The right to an Individualized Education Program (IEP)or Individual-
   ized Family Services Plan (IFSP), which establishes goals, objectives,
   and services for the individual child. AT, if deemed necessary, is writ-
   ten into the plan;
■  The right to be educated in the least restrictive environment (LRE),
   which to the maximum extent appropriate, is the general education
   environment. Infants and toddlers will receive services in their natural
   environment (home, child care setting, or developmental center);

8         Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
    ■  The right to use school purchased assistive technology (AT) in the
       child’s home or other settings if required to ensure a free, appropriate
       public education (FAPE);
    ■  The right to receive related services if needed to benefit from special
       education instruction. AT may be included as a related service.
    The rights of parents and children are fully protected and clearly detailed
    in the procedural safeguards including mediation and/or due process
    procedures. Those rights include:
    ■  The right to due process, meaning the right of a parent (and the child,
       in some circumstances,) to participate in all educational decisions re-
       garding identification, evaluation, placement, and programming for
       his/her child, including participation in the evaluation of AT devices
       and services;
    ■  The right to confidentiality, in which the parent or an adult student
       has the right to see, copy, request changes in, place written comments
       in, and limit the release of educational records;
    ■  The right to parental consent for evaluation, initial placement, and
       release of information;
    ■  The right to notification prior to any change in the IEP, evaluation,
       identification, or placement; and,
    ■  The right of parents to challenge and appeal any decision related to the
       identification, evaluation, and placement, or any issue concerning the
       provision of the free and appropriate public education (FAPE) is fully
       protected and clearly detailed in the procedural safeguards including
       mediation and/or due process procedures.

    Participation in State or District Wide Achievement Tests
    AT must also be considered in complying with the following require-
    ■  A statement of any individual modifications in the administration of
       state or district wide assessments of student achievement that are needed
       in order for the child to participate in such assessment;
    ■  If the IEP/IFSP team determines that the child will not participate in
       a particular State or district wide assessment of student achievement
       (or part of such an assessment), a statement of why that assessment is
       not appropriate for the child; and, how the child will be assessed, 29
       U. S. C., 1401, Section 614 (d)(1)(A)(v)(I);
    ■  Or, the child may participate in the state or district wide assessments of
       student achievement.

Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities                 9
High Expectations and High Performance
In the 1997 Amendments to the IDEA, Congress created both significant
and subtle changes to the treatment of requests for AT. The intent of this
focus is to confirm that access to AT will enable children to achieve bet-
ter outcomes and improved performance. The amendments encourage
“high expectations” for children with disabilities, not simple access, but
rather high performance, ensuring that children with disabilities receive
a quality public education.
(House Report No. 105, 105th Cong., 1st Sess. 84 (1997) [hereinafter H. Rpt.].
For consistent commentary see 143 Cong. Rec. S4411 (May 14, 1997) and
143 Cong. Rec. H2531, H2535, H2537, and H2539 (May 13, 1997)
IDEA 2004 requires that the IEP include a statement of the student's present
levels of performance that reflects not only the student's academic achieve-
ment, but functional performance as well. In addition, the academic and
functional needs of the child are to include social and behavioral needs
(Section 1414 (d)(3)(A)(iv).

Assistive Technology Policy and Case Law
Over the years since 1975, assistive technology issues and specific ques-
tions about AT devices, services, home use, and funding, have been
posed to the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). The issues
have been determined at due process hearings or litigated in the court
system. The rulings and opinions in these cases offer guidance to school
districts when they determine assistive technology policies. For example,
because of the OSEP ruling on such issues, the mandate for consideration
of AT during the assessment process and IEP development was added to
the IDEA in 1997.
Teachers in the Idaho public schools use two important documents, Idaho
Special Education Manual, September 2006, and Assistive Technology in the
Schools: A Guide for Idaho Educators, to address the AT needs of children
with disabilities. These guidelines and forms insure that the process of
consideration of AT will be carefully carried out and monitored. As mem-
bers of the IEP team for your child, parents have access to the informa-
tion from both guides, published by the Idaho Department of Education,
Bureau of Special Education.

     You can access links to the federal/state legislation and other informa-
     tion about AT directly through the Idaho Assistive Technology Project
     web site: www.idahoat.org or call 1-800-432-8324 for a printed copy. Or
     call the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare at Idaho Care Line,
     2-1-1, or (208) 332-7205 TTY. E-mail: careline@idhw.idaho.gov or web
     site: www.idahocareline.org

10          Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
                                 examples of assisTive TeChnology (aT)
                                 for Children
                                 The legal mandate to the school district is to consider the use of AT to
                                 enhance the learning environment of a child at school. AT used in the
                                 home and/or community may also be a part of the educational plan if
                                 it affects a child’s free appropriate public education (FAPE). There are
                                 many commercially available items that could prove beneficial; or, there
                                 are ways to modify existing equipment, and to invent or make custom
                                 devices. Many of the modifications and accommodations that parents
                                 and teachers have made in order for a child to participate in daily activi-
                                 ties, are assistive technology.
                                 AT devices and services range from simple to complex. AT is sometimes
                                 classified as: No Tech (no special devices); Low Tech (simple adaptations
                                 with no batteries or electronics); Medium Tech (battery operated or simple
                                 electronic devices or adaptations); or, High Tech (complex electronic
                                 or computer driven devices). From experience, children, parents, and
                                 teachers find that it is best to use the simplest technology that will meet
                                 the identified need.
                                 An example of the levels of AT for WRITING may look like this:

Assistive Technology Continuum for Writing (Note-taking Assignment)

   No tech > > > > > > > Low tech > > > > > > > Medium tech > > > > > > High tech

   Standard pencil       Pencil with hand brace     Adapted tape recorder          Adaptive laptop
                                                    to record a lecture or         with restrictive use
                                                    discussion                     for input only

                             Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities               11
         No Tech Accommodations for Children with
When working with children with disabilities, teachers often make
changes in daily routines, teaching techniques, and strategies. These
accommodations at the “No Tech” level are also widely used in conjunc-
tion with AT. Such changes are written into the student’s Individualized
Education Program (IEP) and evaluated at regular intervals. Parents also
find these types of changes useful when teaching new skills at home.
The following techniques/strategies are often used in many curriculum


     Teacher/Aide/Peer       Student                               Tasks/Materials/Environment

  Models appropriate         Uses increased time to complete as-   Modification of task complexity
  skills/tasks               signments/tasks
                                                                   Change of assignment/test format (mul-
  Breaks directions into     Uses decreased length of assign-      tiple choice, matching, word banks, fill-
  smaller segments           ments/responses                       in-the-blank, short answer, oral answer)
  Uses verbal prompts,       Has preferential seating, teacher     Written/typed outline or copy of lecture
  gestures                   proximity                             notes for student (prior to delivery)
  Uses oral dictation        Uses peer/adult note taker, reading   Reading window, ruler, highlight for
                             assistant, problem-answer recorder    tracking strategies
  Reads, takes notes,
  records answers            Highlights/Follows key points on      Color coding to emphasize key points
                             printed copy rather than copying/
  Pre-teaches vocabulary                                           Crayon, marker, pen, pencil, typewriter
                             recording lecture notes
  and/or components of
                                                                   Computer with word processor, gram-
  lesson                     Uses webbing (concept mapping) as
                                                                   mar/spell checker, educational soft-
                             an alternative outline method
                             Uses tracking strategies (reading
                                                                   Clipboard to hold materials in place
                             window, ruler, highlighting)
                                                                   Instructional software to remediate writ-
                             Uses standard computer with word
                                                                   ing deficits
                             processor, grammar/spell checker,
                             educational software                  High interest, low reading level materi-
                                                                   Less complex text
                                                                   Custom vocabulary list
                                                                   Study carrel, quiet corner, small group

12         Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
    Possible Areas of Need for AT
    Powerful new educational technology can remove barriers to academic
    success for students with disabilities. Research shows that user friendly
    technology at the appropriate instructional level can positively affect the
    educational progress your child makes in the general classroom curricu-
    lum and environment. Whenever new technology is acquired by a school
    district for a particular grade level or general classroom, it is important
    that the district address how that technology can enhance the learning
    opportunities of children of all ability levels. Although simple, low level
    technology is often the best solution, much of the new, advanced technol-
    ogy in academic areas is very effective and easy to use. As members of
    the IEP Team, parents should be aware of the vast array of technology
    devices and their uses.
    Assistive technology (AT) may impact many areas of an individual’s life.
    The AT considerations for any child will be influenced by his/her edu-
    cational needs and skill levels; and, by family goals, needs, desires and
    comfort level. The following tables provide examples of relevant tasks
    and technology solutions within instructional and other life skills areas.
    Tasks and AT solutions need to address individual student needs.

Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities              13
COMPUTER BASED INSTRUCTION can help children with disabilities
receive full and equal educational opportunities by using appropriate AT
access and output devices and multi-level digital curriculum materials.
Universally designed software, which parallels the child’s developmental
age, offers alternative ways to respond to learning objectives, and to de-
velop and reinforce skills. Multi-level instructional software is available
in all basic subject areas. Information management, and record keeping
programs can be used to analyze and track a child’s performance, whether
in the regular classroom, in special settings, or at home.


  Instructional or Access Area                 Assistive Technology Solutions

 Sample Computer Instructional Tasks:         Standard Tools/Accommodations:
 Complete assignments/practice/               Electronic pocket dictionary/thesaurus/spell checker; com-
 drills in academic curriculum areas          puter, standard computer keyboard, mouse, grammar and spell
                                              checker, dictionary, thesaurus
                                              AT Devices/Services:
                                              Scanner/computer software for electronic worksheets; software
                                              for practice/drills, composition/writing;
 Make presentations, speeches, re-            Multi-level instructional software/multimedia software for
 ports                                        academic skills; reading, literature, math, science, social stud-
                                              Outlining software; multimedia software; talking word pro-
 Draw, paint, tell stories, write, sing       Instructional software for drawing/painting, storytelling,
 Participate in computer based activi-        Interactive computer games for social skills, communication;
 Track and record personal progress           Software to analyzes and track a child’s educational perfor-

                                  Computer monitor, IntelliPics software and
                                      keyboard with large key overlay

                                                                                     IntelliTools keyboard with
                                                                                         keyboard overlays

14        Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
                                    COMPUTER ACCESS/OUTPUT (KEYBOARD ADAPTATIONS AND
                                    EMULATORS) include many alternatives to the standard computer
                                    keyboard. In order insure ease and success with software curriculum
                                    materials, it is important to first address the issues of computer access
                                    /output modes for any child with special needs. A computer expert, a
                                    physical therapist, a teacher, the student, and the parents may collaborate
                                    to find the best possible choice for the individual student.
      Touch screen


Instructional or Access Area                Assistive Technology Solutions

Sample Computer Access/Input Tasks:       Standard Tools/Accommodations:
Access computer/computer based            Computer, standard computer keyboard, mouse, scanner,
instructional programs                    printer
Type/use mouse or alternative de-         AT Devices/Services:
                                          Keyboard with accessibility options; alternative computer ac-
Use word processor, dictionary, the-      cess/input devices: joysticks, light pens, touch screens, touch
saurus, spell/grammar checker             sensitive keyboard pads; enlarged or expanded keyboards (key-
                                          board overlays); alternative keyboards with hot spots, point and
Increase range of motion, strength/
                                          click, and scanning options, fist or foot keyboards (Intellikeys,
use of hands, fingers, arms, feet,
                                          Discover Board, TASH);
                                          Alternative mouse: trackball/track pad/joystick w/ on-screen
Increase developmental skills (hear-
                                          keyboard switches, mouth controls, breath activated switches,
ing, vision, physical, cognitive, or
                                          switch with Morse code, switch with scanning, head pointers;
                                          Key guards, key latches; arm support (Ergo Rest);
                                          Braille input; adjustable font sizes, picture icons;
                                          Speech recognition/voice recognition software; word prediction
                                          scanners with speech synthesizers and voice analyzers; voice
                                          dictation software;
                                          Word prediction, abbreviation/expansion to reduce key-
Sample Computer Output Tasks:             strokes;
Complete assignments in appropri-
ate formats
                                          Alternative computer output devices: Text/screen enlargement,
Present individual projects in subject    voice output devices for reading text/pictures, screen reading
areas (oral reports, book reports, sci-   software, talking word processors, electronic worksheets/forms,
ence projects, stories, graphics, art)    Discover, Intellitools, Braille printers

                              Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities                  15
assist children with communication, socialization, and independence.
Communication is a very complex area of need which includes speaking,
hearing, language development, and writing. Parents and professionals,
alike, are often reluctant to evaluate communication devices for young
children because they believe a child should first develop verbal skills.
However, research shows that AT devices actually aid in the development
of language skills and can lead to early success in communication skills
and academic activities. Early use of communication devices encourage
active participation and can guard against learned helplessness.                         Personal amplifier


     Instructional or Access Area              Assistive Technology Solutions

     Sample Listening Tasks:                   Standard Tools/Adaptations:
     Follow verbal directions                  Television, video player, cassette recorder/player; headphones
                                               for sound clarity/blocking extraneous noises for cassette re-
     Listen to stories, books, texts and an-
                                               corder/TV; overhead projector for visual outline during note
     swer comprehension questions
                                               taking; closed captioning access to caption ready TV and video
     Listen to teacher lecture/classroom       presentations
     discussion and answer questions,
                                               AT Devices/Services:
     record notes
                                               Personal amplification system, classroom sound field system;
     Listen to verbally presented informa-
                                               auditory trainer, personal hearing aids; environmental alert
     tion and retell with correct sequenc-
                                               system (doorbell, phone);
                                               Smart Board for transferring teacher-written notes to computer
     Listen to videos and gather informa-
                                               for viewing/printing;
     tion about instructional topics
                                               Voice to text software application for converting teacher lecture
     Respond to environmental stimuli
                                               to text;
     (knock on classroom door, bell ring-
     ing, fire alarm)                          Closed captioning on non-caption ready instructional materi-
                                               Real time captioning of class lecture and discussion

16          Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities

 Instructional or Access Area              Assistive Technology Solutions

 Sample Oral Communication Tasks:         Standard Tools/Adaptations:
 Gain attention of peers/adults within    Diagram or poster for presentations, overhead projector or slide
 environment                              projector, video player, cassette recorder/player
 Express basic wants/needs                AT Devices/Services
 Request assistance                       Speech enhancing devices (amplifiers, clarifiers);
 Greet others                             Object based communication displays (miniature objects);
 Converse with peers/teachers             Communication board/book/wallet with pictures/objects/let-
                                          ters/words; eye gaze board/frame;
 Respond to teacher/peer questions
 and/or comments                          Pre-recorded messages (tape recorder, One-Step Communicator
                                          or Step-By-Step Communicator);
 Present oral report on assigned topic
                                          Simple voice output device/talking switches (BIGmack, Cheap
                                          Talk, Voice in a Box, MicroVoice, Talking Picture Frame);
                                          Voice output device with icon sequencing (Alpha Talker II, Chat-
                                          box, Vanguard); voice output device w/dynamic display (Dy-
                                          navox, Speaking Dynamically w/laptop computer (Freestyle);
                                          Device w/ speech synthesis for typing (Link, talking word
                                          processing on laptop);
                                          Dedicated augmentative communication devices, integrated
                                          computer based augmentative communication solutions with
                                          adaptive input;
                                          Forward facing display (LightWRITER ZYGO); infra-red Link;
                                          Speaker-telephone (hands-free)

LightWRITER augmentative
 communication device with
   forward facing display                Augmentative communication device with jellybean switch

                             Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities             17
ACADEMIC CURRICULUM AREAS involve the skills a child is expected
to learn in school. For a child with disabilities, these skills are identi-
fied as goals in an Individualized Education Program (IEP). AT may
be essential to the IEP if it provides access to curriculum materials and
classroom activities at the child’s level. Legislative amendments (IDEA)
focus on the use of AT to encourage high expectations, better outcomes,
and improved performance, not just simple access. These are hallmarks
of a quality education for children with disabilities.                               Leapfrog Spelling Game


     Instructional or Access Area              Assistive Technology Solutions

     Sample Spelling Tasks:                   Standard Tools/Adaptations:
     Identify correctly/incorrectly spelled   Flash cards, print/picture dictionary, dictionary, thesaurus;
                                              Instructional software for phonics and spelling skills;
     Write spelling words from dictation
                                              Computer and word processing software with built-in spell
     Spell words orally                       checker, thesaurus
     Use spelling words appropriately in      AT Devices/Services
     a sentence
                                              Tape recorder and tape with difficult-to-spell words;
     Locate correctly spelled words in a
                                              Hand-held spell checker without auditory output (Leap Frog
                                              Spelling); hand-held spell checker with auditory recognition
     Complete writing tasks with correct      of entered word;
                                              Portable word processor with built-in spell checker; computer
                                              with talking spell checker; word prediction software

               Show Me Spelling computer software screen display

18          Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities

Instructional or Access Area              Assistive Technology Solutions

  Sample Tasks-Mechanics of              AT Devices/Services for Mechanics of Writing:
  Writing:                               Pencil/pen/marker with adaptive grip; adapted paper
  Print/Write name                       (raised line, highlighted lines, different spacing);
  Copy shapes/letters/words/             Clipboard to hold materials in place, paper stabilizers
  numbers for skills practice            secured to desk, slant board, non-slip writing surface;
  Write words/numbers                    Note taking devices (adapted tape recorder, Smartboard,
                                         Braille); pre-written words/phrases;
  Copy printed material
                                         Portable word processor (PC-5, AlphaSmart) and computer
  Copy notes from board or               software; portable scanner with word processing software;
                                         Voice recognition software for word processing
  Sample Tasks-Composing Written         AT Devices for Composing Written Material:
                                         Word cards/word book/word wall, pocket dictionary/
  Complete written worksheets            thesaurus;
  Complete written test (multiple        Writing templates;
  choice, matching, fill-in-the-
                                         Electronic/talking electronic dictionary/thesaurus/spell
  blank, short answer, or essay)
                                         checker (Franklin Speaking, Homework Wiz);
  Complete forms (fill-in-the-
                                         Word processing w/grammar/spell checker; talking word
                                         processor, word prediction, word processing w/ writing
  Record notes from teacher              supports;
                                         Multimedia software; add symbols to text (PixReader/
  Generate creative/spontaneous          Picture It);
  writing samples
                                         Voice recognition software
  Enter number in correct
  location within math problems
  Copy diagrams and graphs
  Create and plot graph

                                                      AlphaSmart portable word processor

                              Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities         19

     Instructional or Access Area             Assistive Technology Solutions

     Sample Reading Tasks:                  Standard Tools/Adaptations:
     Identify letters in isolation and in   Standard text, high interest-low reading level materials; custom
     sequence                               vocabulary list, predictable books, worksheets for skills practice;
                                            printed information on board/overhead, printed test materials;
     Recognize/read name
                                            instructional software to remediate basic reading and/or reading
     Read basic/primer sight words          comprehension skills; increase print size (photocopy)
     Read functional words (community,      AT Devices/Services:
     emergency, grocery)
                                            Reading aids (talking spell checker or dictionary for word recog-
     Read target/selected words within      nition);
     a sentence
                                            Electronic books (disk or CD-ROM);
     Comprehend age/grade appropriate
                                            Alternatives/supplements to printed information (tape recorded
     reading materials
                                            or talking books, computer based talking word processing pro-
     Read and comprehend material from      gram with adaptive input, text and screen reading software with
     board/overhead                         adaptive input);
     Read and comprehend material from      Changes in text size, spacing, color, background color;
     computer display
                                            Adapted books for page turning (page fluffers, 3-ring binder);
     Read and comprehend longer read-
                                            Use of pictures/symbols with text (Picture it, Writing with Sym-
     ing samples without fatigue
                                            bols 2000);
     Answer questions regarding main
                                            Talking electronic devices/software to pronounce challenging
     idea of materials read
                                            words (Franklin Speaking Homework Wiz, American Heritage
     Answer inferential questions regard-   Dictionary);
     ing materials read
                                            Single word scanners (Quicktionary Reading Pen);
                                            Solutions for converting text into alternative format (scanner with
                                            ORC software, Braille translation software, Braille printer/em-
                                            bosser, refreshable Braille displays, and tactile graphic production
                                            Talking word processor;
                                            Electronic reference tools to aid vocabulary/concept development

                        Quicktionary Reading Pen

20         Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities

 Instructional or Access Area              Assistive Technology Solutions

 Sample Math Tasks:                       Standard Tools/Adaptations:
 Identify numbers in isolation and        Manipulatives (beads, blocks, coins); abacus, number/math line;
 sequence                                 math fact sheets (Smart Chart: addition, subtraction, multiplica-
                                          tion, division facts); calculator with print output, instructional
 Comprehend basic math concepts
                                          software to remediate math deficits; enlarged print (photocopy-
 Complete basic calculations (add,        ing); graph paper (for setting up/ keeping problems in rows)
 subtract, multiply, divide)
                                          AT Devices/Services:
 Complete complex math calcula-
                                          Modified paper (bold line, enlarged or raised line);
                                          Talking calculator; calculator with large keypad; computer based
 Tell time to the hour, half-hour units
                                          on-screen/scanning calculator; calculator w/special features
 Calculate passage of time                (fraction translation); calculator with printout;
 Identify coins and bills                 Alternative keyboards (Intellikeys, Discover Board);
 Demonstrate understanding of coin        Software w/cuing for math computation (may use adapted input
 and bill value                           method);
 Use money to purchase items              Software for manipulation of objects, computation, geometry,
 Use coins and bills to make appropri-    fractions, algebra;
 ate change                               Software for electronic math worksheets (MathPad, Access to
 Maintain and balance a checkbook         Math, Study Works);
                                          Software for adapted measuring devices
                                          Money calculator/Coinulator; money management software
                                          Talking watches/clocks;
                                          Voice recognition software

 Talking desktop calculator                       Computer software for math skills, screen display

                               Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities             21

     Instructional or Access Area             Assistive Technology Solutions

 Sample Study and Organizational Tasks       Standard Tools/Adaptations
 Copy assignments from board                 Assignment sheet provided by peer and/or adult; student
                                             schedule or checklist, print or picture schedule; outline of
 Record assignments from teacher
                                             key points; organizational aids (color coded tabs/folders,
                                             appointment book) positioning student strategically within
 Complete assigned task within des-          classroom environment; timer; student self-monitoring sheets;
 ignated time                                instructional materials/software to remediate deficits, teach
 Request teacher/peer assistance when        compensation strategies, and focus on strengths
 needed                                      AT Devices/Services:
 Has appropriate materials/supplies          Tape recorder; electronic organizer;
 for class activities
                                             One-Step or Step-By-Step communicator with pre-recorded
 Has appropriate materials/supplies          messages;
 for homework assignments
                                             Computer based electronic organizer with adapted input and
                                             output; alternative input device (switch, touch window);
                                             Highlight test/text (markers, highlight tape, taped lectures
                                             with number coded index);
                                             Voice output reminders for assignments, steps of task or other
                                             instructions; pagers/electronic reminders; speech prompting
                                             Single word scanners, hand-held scanners;
                                             Software for concept development/manipulation of objects
                                             (Blocks in Motion, Toy Store);
                                             Software for organization of ideas and studying (Inspiration,
                                             Claris Works Outline, PowerPoint)

DigiPad voice output cuing device for instructions and assignments

22         Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
                                     ACTIVITIES OF DAILY LIVING (ADLs) are often challenging for children
                                     with disabilities. Self care and self help devices are necessary for some
                                     children who need assistance with daily activities like eating, dressing,
                                     and toileting. They are skills which are critical to a child’s increased


Instructional or Access Area                 Assistive Technology Solutions

Sample Activities of Daily Living:          Standard Tools/Accommodations:
Feed self or drink                          Modified time, task complexity; tools, easy-to-use eating utensils
                                            (spoon, cup); personal hygiene tools (toothbrush, comb, brush);
Prepare simple snack, prepare basic
                                            toileting supplies (tissue); cleaning materials and appliances
                                            AT Devices/Services:
Perform household chores
                                            Nonslip materials (Dycem); universal cuff/strap (for hand);
Dress/undress self
                                            Color coded items for easier locating and identifying; adaptive
Complete personal hygiene and
                                            grips (adapted foam hair rollers) for standard eating utensils;
grooming tasks (wash, brush teeth,
comb hair)                                  Adaptive/Ergonomic eating utensils (foam handles, deep sided/
                                            lipped plates or dishes); adaptive drinking utensils (no-spill cups,
                                            cups with cut-out rims, straws); electric feeders, robotics;
Toilet self
                                            Adaptive cooking and food preparation aids (blender/power
                                            control unit/switch, adapted pouring handles, adapted bowls/
                                            pots, adapted stove knobs);
                                            Adaptive cleaning tools/appliances w/power control unit/
                                            Adaptive clothing, dressing equipment (button hook/zipper
                                            pull, sock stretcher, elastic shoe laces, Velcro fasteners on cloth-
                                            Adaptive wash cloths, soap holders, adaptive combs, brushes,
                                            adaptive toothbrushes, electric toothbrushes; bathroom rails,
                                            adaptive faucet handles, bath/shower chair, Dycem to prevent
                                            slipping; walk-in shower, hand held shower, lift, hoist, safety
                                            Adaptive toilet seats, raised toilet seats, step stool, safety devices

      Button switch, PowerLink
         control and blender

                               Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities                   23
HEARING AND VISION DEVICES (Sensory Enhancers) help children
with sensory deficits to access their environment and communicate
independently. Augmenting sound or using sign language can assist a
child with hearing. Increasing contrast, enlarging images, and making
use of tactile and auditory materials help children with low vision or
blindness.                                                                           Tactile Vibrating Ball

  Instructional or Access Area               Assistive Technology Solutions

  Sample Hearing Tasks:                    Standard Tools/Adaptations:
  Participate appropriately in conver-     Pen/paper; headphones, TV, VHS or DVD, overhead projector
  sations, discussions                     for visual outline during notetaking; closed captioning access to
                                           caption ready TV and video presentations; sign language
  Follow verbal directions
                                           AT Devices/Services:
  Listen to stories, books, verbal pre-
  sentations and answer questions          Personal hearing aids or personal amplifiers;
  Retell in correct sequence, answer       Alerting or signaling device (e.g. flashing light, vibrating pager,
  comprehension questions                  screen flash alert system); phone amplifier; personal FM or loop
                                           amplification system; sound field FM systems;
  Respond to environmental stimuli
  appropriately (knock on door, ring-      Telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDDs) for phone access
  ing bell, fire alarm)                    with/without relay;
                                           Relay system for telephone calls;
                                           Infrared system; environmental alert system;
                                           Computer/portable word processor or scanners;
                                           Closed captioning; text closed captioning on non-caption ready
                                           instructional materials; real time captioning (class lecture and
                                           Mild-gain hardware systems, cochlear implants;
                                           Smart Board (transfer teacher notes to computer); voice to text
                                           software (convert teacher lecture to written notes);
                                           Vibrating or flashing toys

            Telephone with TTY readout and TEC strobe flasher

24       Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities

Instructional or Access Area             Assistive Technology Solutions

Sample Vision Tasks:                    Modification and Accommodation of Tasks/Expectations/Standard
See people, objects, surrounding en-
vironment                               Eye glasses; preferential seating; specialized lighting; material
                                        tilted at certain angle; verbal cues, enlarged letters, words; Braille,
Read text print
                                        taped materials, computer instructional materials
Watch TV, videos
                                        AT Devices/Services:
Follow written directions
                                        Text magnifiers, large print books, TV/computer screen magni-
Read written materials (assigned top-   fiers, screen magnification software; screen color contrast, screen
ics or stories)                         reader, text reader; closed circuit television (CCTV);
Study graphic materials (current in-    Copy machines (increase print size or contrast images);
structional topics)
                                        Halogen or other lighting modifications, vision stimulation de-
Answer questions in written format      vices such as light boxes;
Take notes from teacher lecture         Braille keyboard and note taker, Braille printer, Braille/tactile
Watch videos (current instructional     labels for keyboard, Brailled materials( labels on objects), Braille
topics)                                 ‘N Speak, Braille ‘N Print, Mountbatten);

Play games with objects (board games,   Objects with tactile and auditory features;
ball games)                             Optical/electronic magnifying devices (handheld, table-mount-
Use computer instructional software     ed, head-mounted) or telescopes;
                                        Read/write systems, cassette tape recordings;
                                        Toys with sound mechanisms, brightly colored toys, objects,
                                        Alternate keyboard w/ large print (Intellikeys) talking word
                                        processor, speech synthesizer

                                                               Lighted magnifier

                            Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities                   25
be necessary for a child with physical disabilities. They allow the child
greater access to activities that are natural to children of the same age
who do not have disabilities. These activities include exploration of
both the environment and learning activities. Mobility devices are usu-
ally considered medical equipment, and are therefore acquired through
medical channels. For children with vision impairments mobility aids
may also be necessary.
                                                                                                 Adaptive desk

     Instructional or Access Area                   Assistive Technology Solutions

     Sample Positioning Tasks:                    Standard Tools/Accommodations:
     Maintain appropriate seating/posi-           Careful scheduling of daily activities (order, location); peer and
     tioning or standing for participation        adult assistance; modify requirements based on student’s daily
     in relevant activities                       energy level and task;
                                                  AT Devices/Services:
                                                  Nonslip surfaces on chair/table (Dycem), lap trays;
                                                  Equipment mounts;
                                                  Neck braces, body braces; leg or arm splints, straps, trays;
                                                  Crescent-shaped cushions, positioning pillows, sand bags, bolster,
                                                  rolled towel;
                                                  Blocks for chair feet;
                                                  Floor sitters, custom chair inserts, feeder seats; adaptive table or
                                                  desk, adaptive or alternative chair, rocking chair, bean bag chairs;
                                                  custom fitted wheelchair or insert;
                                                  Side lyers;
                                                  Standing aids, standers

                                 Adaptive chair

26          Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities

 Instructional or Access Area            Assistive Technology Solutions

 Sample Mobility Tasks:                 Standard tools/Accommodations:
 Move about classroom, school, and/     Grab bars and rails; crutches/canes; walkers, self propelled
 or community                           walkers with straps, trays, and safety equipment, manual wheel-
                                        chairs, power wheelchairs with joystick or other control, manual
 Sensory integration, balance, gross
                                        sports chair; powered recreation vehicles (Cooper Car, GoBot,
 motor, fine motor control
                                        tricycles, bikes, scooters); adapted vehicle for driving; crawling
 Safety needs                           assists, wagons, scooter cars; manual or powered strollers with
 Mobility problems due to low vision    seating/ safety adaptations, custom inserts
 or blindness                           AT Devices/Services:
                                        Tubs of bubble balls for movement, visual and tactile feedback,
                                        gross and fine motor activities, air mats, balance boards, large
                                        balls, rockers, swings, scooters;
                                        Helmets, chin guards, knee and elbow pads, splints, straps;
                                        Long white canes; electronic image sensors (vibration); tele-
                                        scopic aids (navigating the home, daycare center or playground,
                                        reading signs, or spotting landmarks); talking traffic or landmark

 Crawl-through bead chain
        with music
                                            Gad About Walker with backrest and hip support

                             Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities              27
RECREATION AND LEISURE DEVICES for physical activities or games
encourage children with disabilities to socialize with others and interact
with the environment through exploration, manipulation and play. All are
motivational, and are essential to mastery of developmental milestones
and basic human interaction.
                                                                                        Large-print cards with
                                                                                             card holder

  Instructional or Access Area                   Assistive Technology Solutions

Sample Recreation/Leisure Activities:          Standard Tools/Accommodations:
Manipulate or operate toys, tools, and/        Verbal prompts, modeling appropriate skills; cooperative participa-
or electronic appliances                       tion with peers/adults; modified puzzles, games, toys, music; tape
                                               player, CD-ROM, television, VCR, remote controls
                                               AT Devices/Services:
                                               Toys adapted with Velcro, magnets, handles, knobs for adapted
                                               puzzles, foam knobs; battery operated toys and games with adap-
                                               tive single-switch/remote control; power control units for large
                                               appliances, controls with adaptive switches/remote controls;
Look at/read books, draw, paint, listen        Modified paint brushes, crayons, rubber stamps; head stick; arm
to music, play computer games, watch           support for drawing/painting (Ergo Rest); computer software
videos                                         for drawing, painting, graphic design; books with page fluffers;
                                               adaptive spinners for making choices and taking turns (All-Turn-
                                               It); electronic aids to control/operate tape recorder, TV, VCR, CD
                                               player; computer games, interactive laser disks; prerecorded mes-
                                               sages (One-Step or Step-By-Step Communicator);
Increase physical activity/skills on play-     Wheelchairs, go-carts, or scooter boards adapted for playing games;
ground or in physical education                balance or positioning aids; adaptive swing platform to accommo-
                                               date wheelchair; swimming pool lifts, floatation devices; adaptive
                                               sleds or skis or other adaptive sports and fitness/exercise equip-
                                               ment; adaptive saddles and riding supports; ramps for balls/toys
                                               (bowling, remote control cars);
Participate in verbal communication            Interactive computer games and simulations (sports themes); tape
(conversations, discussions)                   recorder w/ loop tape, song and story cassettes; no tech augmen-
                                               tative communications devices (symbol systems, communication
                                               boards, pictures/icons posted in home, school or play environ-
Increase activities or skills for child with   Beeping balls or goal posts; game rules in Braille or on audio-cas-
limited vision, blindness                      sette, Braille tactile labels; flashing lights on toys/equipment;
Increase activities or skills for child with   Personal FM systems, hearing aid; screen flash for alert signals on
limited hearing, deafness                      computer

28        Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
                                     ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROLS enable a child to use equipment inde-
                                     pendently in the classroom or other customary environment. They modify
                                     the operation of a device to compensate for environmental restrictions
                                     caused by a disability. These controls, usually remote control switches or
                                     modified on/off switches, make devices and equipment accessible and
Universal remote control with        promote independence and social interaction.
       large buttons


  Instructional or Access Area               Assistive Technology Solutions

Sample Manipulation/Control Skills          Standard Tools/Accommodations
Increase physical strength, range of        Verbal prompts, modeling appropriate skills; modify task
motion, range of reach, mobility            length and complexity; modify light switches, switches for
                                            appliances, telephones, remote controls, alarm systems; adapt
Increase communication skills
                                            existing tools
                                            AT Devices/Services:
                                            Light switch extensions; switch adapters and interfaces (for
                                            timers, telephones, light switches, and appliances such as radio,
                                            fan, blender, vacuum); robotics, additional external switches
                                            activated by voice, pressure, eyebrows, or breath;
                                            Magnifiers, text telephones (TTs); control mechanisms with
                                            sonar sensing or infrared devices; personal pagers, alarm
                                            systems, Braille adaptations, vision and hearing devices; aug-
                                            mentative communication devices connected by electronic aid
                                            to environmental controls; scanners with speech synthesizers
                                            and voice analyzers

    Closed circuit monitor/TV
   (CCTV) for magnified print

                                                  Directional bowling ramp with large button switch

                                Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities                  29
       Switch Technology: A Key to Access and                                        Common switches
One of the most important concepts a child with disabilities can learn is
the power of switches. With the appropriate switch, he/she can really
make things happen: toys move, parents answer, food gets prepared,
homework gets done and music plays. Children learn the concepts
of attending, cause and effect, or choosing and scanning in connection
with a switch that operates toys, appliances or communication devices.
Switches give the child a measure of real power and independence in
                                                                              Remote Button
their interactions with people or objects in their environment; and, with
educational tasks and materials.
Switches come in all shapes and sizes. They are activated by any move-
ment a child can control: pushing, pulling, squeezing, bending, blowing.
Some are activated by voice, others by eye blinks. Some switches are          Grasp
durable enough for forceful actions, while others respond to very light
A child may control from one to five switches at a time. Mounting devices
enable the placement of switches in any position convenient for the child
to activate with his/her hand, foot, head or other body part. Switches        Leaf
are made to provide feedback that tells the user when a switch has been
activated. The feedback is usually a sound, a texture, or a light. In order
to operate, switches must be connected to a device with interfaces that
control the time and way a device operates. It must also be firmly mounted
and properly located for maximum success.                                                      Micro Light

Mounting Systems
Mounting devices can be attached to a child’s body, limb, or head; or to a    Plate
chair, table, bed or mobility device. They can make an AT device or switch
accessible to any movable body part. Mounting devices include Velcro,
Dual Lock, straps, headbands, hinged metal mounts, vest/bib controllers,
armbands, suction cups, PVC pipe, duct tape, metal arms, clamps.
                                                                              Vertical Plate

                         Hinged mounting system



30        Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
Commonly Used Switches

     Type of Switch; Target area;                       Activating Action/Force                          Possible uses/
         Type of feedback                                  Light: 0-5 oz.;                               Suggestions
                                                           Medium: 6-10 oz.;
                                                           Strong: 11+ oz.

Button Switches: small or large                   Pressure anywhere on top                    For young children with limited
target, durable; bright colors;                   surface, fine or gross motor                motor control or difficulty grading
mount with pre-drilled holes in                   (Light to medium force)                     movements
base; (auditory/tactile feedback)
------------------------------------------                                                    --------------------------------------
Remote Control Button or Plate                                                                Needs no cords

Grasp or Grip Switch: large, firm                 Pressure by squeezing,                      For fingers, hand, toes, or
foam switch with strong support;                  pinching or pressing, gross motor           elbow, knee, neck joint
some with interchangeable                         (Light to strong force, adjustable)
handles for varying strength                                                                  Teach grasping motion or
requirements; (tactile feedback)                                                              pincer grasp

Leaf Switch: Flexible stick or leaf               Touch, bend, or bat gently,                 For head, hand, other body
shape; requires mounting,                         fine motor                                  parts; teach head control,
(auditory/tactile feedback)                       (Light force)                               grasping, fine motor skills

Micro Light (Plate) Switch: small                 Pressure on top surface, fine motor         For children who can touch a plate
target for very light touch, or                   (Very light force)                          switch but who have little strength
deteriorating movement
(auditory/tactile feedback)

Plate Switch (on/off): large                      Pressure anywhere on surface,               Most commonly used switch:
target, durable; (usually no                      fine or gross motor                         for reliable movement of any
feedback, but some with sound,                    (Medium force)                              body part, (feet, head);
mirrors, textures)                                                                            may cover with textures
-----------------------------------------         -----------------------------------------   -----------------------------------------
Vertical Plate: positioned at 45 or               Midline, sideswiping or cross-              For side-lying position
90 degree angle, suction cups                     body movements

Platform Switch: durable, large                   Pressure on pad mounted on                  Arm or wrist rests on
target, non-slip rubber base                      surrounding base, fine and gross            surrounding base for support
(auditory/tactile feedback)                       motor (Light force)

Toggle Switch: requires mount,                    Controlled movement of various              Use as any toggle (light) switch
specific target; (auditory/tactile                body parts;
feedback)                                         (Light force)

Treadle Switch: specific target                   Pressure from only a specific               Use for floor, foot, or for
area for foot or floor mount                      angle, gross motor                          individuals with extraneous
(auditory/tactile feedback)                       (Strong force)                              movements

Vibrating Switch/Plate: large                     Touch with various body parts               Use alone or as switch;
target area, vibrates to activate                 (Light force)                               teach cause and effect; use
a device; some with suction                                                                   with very young children or
cups; (auditory/tactile feedback)                                                             those with hearing or vision loss

                                             Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities                               31
 Multiple Switches
    Type of Switch; Target area         Activating Action/Force                   Possible uses/
       Type of feedback                   Light: 0-5 oz.                           Suggestions
                                          Medium: 6-10 oz.
                                          Strong: 11+ oz.

  Plate (Multiple) Switch:              Each requires a different          Designed for various purposes
  durable, operates multiple            controlled movement/motion         and devices; accepts rugged
  switches from one or more plates:     of various body parts, including   use; use for various movements,
  peg, joystick, geometric shapes       some for mouth; minimal fine       eye-hand coordination;
  buttons, pull/string, requires        or gross motor (Light to           encourages exploration, and
  mount, (auditory/tactile feed-        strong force or no force,          choice making activities
  back)                                 depending on switch)
  Remote Control (no cords)

                                              Switch plate with voice                  Joystick

Flexible pad switch on a glass

 Flexible Pad Switches
      Type of Switch; Target area       Activating Action/Force                   Possible uses/
         Type of feedback                 Light: 0-5 oz.                           Suggestions
                                          Medium: 6-10 oz.
                                          Strong: 11+ oz.

   Flexible Pad Switch                  Touch sensitive for any body       Turns any object into a
   (Taction Pad):                       part                               switch. Example: To help a
   Touch sensitive, inexpensive,        (light force)                      child tell you when he/she is
   clear plastic strips or pads with                                       thirsty, wrap a Taction Pad
   adhesive backing; wrap around                                           around a plastic cup and link it
   any object to turn it into switch;                                      to a tape recorder with the Link
   requires a Link Switch Interface                                        Switch Interface. When the
   (auditory/tactile feedback)                                             child picks up the cup, it
                                                                           activates tape recorder with
                                                                           message, “I want a drink.”

 32         Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
Specialized Switches

 Eye Blink Switch: head band              Blink of the eye, movement of              For children with better head
 mount, extremely sensitive               forehead, controlled motion                control than hand control; for
                                          (No force)                                 augmentative communication
 --------------------------------------   ----------------------------------------   devices, computer access
 Eye Gaze Switch: quick glance            Controlled gazes
 eye click, optical laser                 (No force)

 Membrane/Flat (Plate) Switch:            Touch with movement of arm,                Teach one-to-one correspondence;
 paper-thin switch activates              head, leg, hand, other                     use under many objects, i.e.:
 limited devices                          (Very light force)                         under a sheet to roll on

 Motion Detection Switch or               Controlled small muscle                    Requires an approximated
 Sensory Switch: large target             movement of various body                   motion, only
 sensor                                   parts or lightly blowing air
                                          from mouth (No force)

 Sip and Puff Switch: tube target         Puff or sip with the mouth;                Requires good head and oral
 requires mount (auditory                 Controlled breaths (amount of              control; can improve breath
 feedback)                                air pressure required can be               control; usually a dedicated
                                          adjusted) (No force)                       switch

 Tip/Tilt (Mercury) Switch: has           Raise (tilt) switch 5 degrees              Requires small range of motion,
 no target area; gravity sensitive;       from horizontal or flat position;          slight movement, for those with
 mount to finger, arm, headband,          isolated and specific pattern              little strength; can improve head
 eyeglasses or other with Velcro          of movement                                or other posture control
 (no tactile/auditory feedback)           (No force)

 Voice or Sound Activated                 Sound, or significant                      Requires adjustment for sound;
 Switch: sensitive to sound               vocalization (1-2 seconds)                 use to elicit vocalizations, to
                                          (No force)                                 improve breath control,

             Sip and puff switch                      Mercury tip/tilt switch            Membrane flat switch
                                     Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities                   33
Commonly Used Computer Access Switches
     Type of Switch; Target area       Activating Action/Force                      Possible uses/
        Type of feedback                 Light: 0-5 oz.                              Suggestions
                                         Medium: 6-10 oz.
                                         Strong: 11+ oz.

 Keyboard Overlay(s) Computer          Controlled movements, fine or         Use to isolate (large or small)
 Access Switch: specific, large        gross motor                           key strokes
 target areas                          (No force)

 Mouse Computer Access Switch          Controlled movements of               Use with toddlers to operate
 (Track Ball or Easyball): large       various body parts such as            software programs
 target area, ball rotates within      fingers, hands, arms, toes;
 stable base                           fine or gross motor (No force)

 Touch Screen Computer Access          Touch (No force)                      Touch hot spots on screen to
 Switch: adjustable target areas                                             operate software programs;
                                                                             Teach cause/effect

         Kid's trackball (mouse)

                                                   Trackball (mouse)

                                                                                          Touch screen
Common Switch Interfaces/Modes of Operation
Interfaces are necessary for connecting a switch to a toy or device for
maximum success. They also enhance the learning of some early con-
cepts. Switches can be used in three modes of operation:
     Momentary: The device is activated as long as you press on the
     Latched: The device is turned on when you press the switch. Press it
      again to turn it off.
     Timed: The device operates continuously for a preset time once the
      switch is pressed.
To change the way they operate, all switches can be plugged into to a
control unit, timer or switch latch. It is important to select the mode of
operation that offers the most success for the child in a given situation,
or that helps a child meet an educational objective.                                   IntelliTools keyboard
                                                                                           with overlays

34         Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
Common Switch Interfaces           Common Switch Interfaces

 Adapter for jacks and plugs       Adapters for Jacks and Plugs (for computer/electronic devices) make
                                   it possible to use a trackball, keyboard overlay or other adapted access
                                   device with a computer.

 Battery adapter/interrupter       Battery Adapters or Interrupters can link a device such as a battery-oper-
                                   ated toy or appliance to an external control switch.

        Control unit               Control Units (1800 watts) can connect a switch to a large electrical appli-
                                   ance such as a popcorn popper, mixer, toaster, or vacuum cleaner to give
                                   your child the opportunity to help with cooking or household chores.

                                   Switch Latch (On/Off) turns toy or device on with first activation and
                                   off with second activation. Use for children unable to maintain switch
                                   closure for a length of time. Helps child focus on toy or device, not on
                                   the switch.

                                   Timer or Delay Timer allows device to stay on for a predetermined time
                                   when switch is activated. Use for more powerful reinforcement. Use with
                                   children who have difficulty maintaining switch closure indefinitely or
                                   who have difficulty deactivating switch closure.

                                                    Switch latch and timer with button switch

                               Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities               35
       Universal Design for Learning and Digital
       Curricula                                                                    “Effective teachers
                                                                                    provide a rich learning
Most of the current success of technology for people with disabilities are
examples of assistive technology (AT) devices. However, many AT de-
                                                                                    environment when
vices place the emphasis of intervention on the individual rather than on           they offer multiple
the learning environment. We need to use new technologies, not only to              ways of sharing
overcome existing learning barriers, but also to design learning environ-
ments with fewer barriers right from the start.                                     knowledge: electronic
One of the most promising areas of research is based on the concept                 text, computers
of universal design, first used by architects and builders. One example             with voice output,
of universal design resulted from the Americans with Disabilities Act               software programs
(ADA) legislation, which requires curb cuts and ramps critical for access
by people in wheelchairs. The curb cuts and ramps have also proven to               that allow students to
be convenient for pedestrians and people with bicycles, strollers, and              brainstorm, accessible
                                                                                    web sites, and other
Research groups are creating universally designed curriculum and soft-
ware including network learning systems for schools and colleges, and
                                                                                    universally designed
supported learning tools and curriculum in the areas of literacy, math-             materials and AT
ematics, science, and social studies. Research is conducted in classrooms,          devices.”
homes, community organizations and on the Internet (Center for Applied
Special Technology, 2001, web site: cast.org).                                                            – Doty
Digital learning materials are being developed both commercially and by
teachers in classrooms. Educational software programs (reading, math or
other), which provide a continuum of skills, can be used by all children
based on their instructional levels and their varying abilities to access
the programs. Digital versions of printed materials do not have different
content. The difference is in the way the content is displayed. In print
versions, the content is permanently on paper. Its display is unchange-
able, making it difficult to individualize the curriculum in ways that are
necessary for students with disabilities. In digital versions, content is             Literature series in three
presented dynamically by the computer. As a result, content can be dis-                       formats:
played in many different ways, adjusting to many different learners. A                     Paperback book
digital version of To Kill a Mockingbird for a tenth grade classroom might                  Digital book
be used as follows:                                                                      Audiocassette book

  ■  Sarah, a student with low vision, can display the text in a very large font.
  ■  Bill, a student who is blind, can have the computer display the text as spoken words or have the
     computer print it on a Braille printer.
  ■  Jennifer, a student with severe physical disabilities, can change the display (turn the pages) with a
     single blink of her eye.
  ■  Michael, a student with dyslexia, can click on a difficult word to have the computer read it aloud or
     link it instantly to a context-based definition.

36        Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
                          In these ways, digital versions of traditional curricular materials can ef-
                          fectively reduce barriers to learning and promote inclusion of students
                          with disabilities in the regular classroom. They do not take the place of
                          the AT needed for access, but they do make it easier for teachers to provide
                          appropriate learning experiences for many students at the same time.
                          (Center for Applied Special Technology, 2001, Web site: www.cast.org).
                          See Don Johnston Catalog, Solutions for Students with Disabilities, or call
                          1-800-999-4660 or see the Web site: www.donjohnston.com. Bookshare.
                          org offers books in digital Braille and digital talking-book formats. See
                          the Web site: www.bookshare.org.

                          Home Modifications
                          Home modifications make it easier for any person to overcome environ-
                          mental problems including any feature of the home that is unsafe, that
                          restricts access and limits task performance, or that results in discomfort
                          (Mann, Hurren, Tomita, Bengali, and Steinfeild, 1994). The use of assistive
                          devices and home modifications for eliminating barriers in the homes of
                          people with disabilities is becoming more commonplace as health care
                          professionals, architects, and builders gain expertise in these areas. John
Adapted door handle       Salmen (1994) defines four categories of home modification:

                          •  Universal design—life-span designs applied to a new home by an ar-
                             chitect or a builder that work for everyone regardless of age or physi-
                             cal abilities. Such designs include thirty-two inch wide doors, lever
                             handles, full length mirrors, shower stalls that accommodate everyone
                             including wheelchair users, reinforced walls in pathways and bath-
                             rooms for adding grab bars);
                          •  Adaptability—installation of adjustable sinks, counters, closet shelves,
                             and grab bars so that they can be moved to different heights for dif-
                             ferent people;
                          •  Accessibility—application of public building codes to private homes
                             to include exit ramps, door openers, for easy access both outside and
                             inside the home;
                          •  Accessible route—a continuous pathway that is free of hazards and abrupt
                             changes in level, that connects all important areas of the home.

                      Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities               37
Although home modifications are not part of the educational program,
they may be necessary for the independence, safety, and convenience
of your child and your family. The Idaho Assistive Technology Project
(IATP) offers a service in which an AT specialist will help assess your
home and provide a list of modifications based on your child’s needs.
In addition, virtually all of the examples of AT listed in this guide can be
used at home. You can get more information about home modifications
by calling the IATP at 1-800-432-8324.
The following tables provide examples of home modifications, adaptations
and AT devices to help a child successfully explore and learn in his/her
natural environment. There are countless ingenious adaptations and im-
provisations devised by families and born of necessity. These suggestions
only scratch the surface, but they may be catalysts for even better ideas.
                                                                                      Single message device


  Possible Problem             Potential Intervention/Modification

  Calling for parents’         Buzzer with switch, or single message communicator with switch
  attention                    programmed with: “Mommy, Daddy, I need you!”; intercom system,
                               infant monitoring system
  Access to clothes            Easy to reach shelves, baskets on floor for sorting and storing, low rod for
                               hangers, reacher, large knobs or rope pulls on drawers
  Dressing self                Velcro “buttons” on clothing and shoes, loose or knit clothing, Spyrolaces
                               for shoes, sock stretcher with long handles
     Seeing self in mirror     Mirrors hung at floor and/or crib level
     Turning on light          Night light, touch lamp/touch lamp
                               extension lever, remote control light
                               switch, motion detector switch
     Access to toilet          Potty in bedroom, single message
                               communicator with switch, mobility
                               aid next to bed, grab bars
     Getting in and out of     Low bed with portable rail, mobility
     bed                       aid next to bed, grab bars, hydraulic bed

38          Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities

Possible Problem                 Potential Intervention/Modification

Using standard toilet,           Adapted toilet seat, splash guard, seatbelt, safety side bars, back supports,
potty                            lift, adjustable pediatric commode with chest and/or shoulder straps
Potty training                   Dedicated single message communication device, buzzer or bell
Getting into bath or             Grab bars at child’s level (adjustable grab bars), hand-held adjustable
shower                           shower head, rubber mat, adjustable bath chair, combination bath/potty
                                 chair, bath bench, low shower threshold for mobility device
Sitting in tub or                Grab bars, transfer bench, hydraulic lift, bath seat, rubber mat
standing in shower
Balancing, playing               Adjustable bath seat with head rest, harness, lap belt, pelvic belt, knee
water games in the               cushions, easy-squeeze toys, two-handled plastic cups
Getting water or soap            Absorbent head wrap (band with ear guards)
in face, ears, eyes
Hot water burns                  Turn down thermostat, install anti-scald device
Slippery or wet floors           Non-skid rugs or mats

Toilet seat with safety straps
        and leg braces

                                                      Handheld shower, transfer bath bench, grab bars

                                  Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities                 39

 Possible Problem              Potential Intervention/Modification

 Eating/drinking               Specialized bottles, nipples, adapted feeder seat or high chair with safety
 independently                 belt/ tray; adapted utensils, plates, bowls; ergonomic eating utensils,
                               flexible utensils, bent spoon, pediatric utensil holder; lipped plates or
                               dishes, scoop dish; electric feeders, robotics; non-skid (Dycem) mats under
                               plates, bowls; pediatric cup with two handles, non-tip cup, training sip
                               cup, feeding cup, cut-out rim cup, straw or tube and cup, spout cup;
                               adjustable tray to hold bowl/plate or cup at chin level
 Selecting food items          Lazy Susan on table with favorite food items or picture icons; circular
                               scanner with compartments, objects, and switch; picture icons on table
                               next to child’s place mat; single or multiple message communication
                               device programmed with names of favorite foods
 Helping with chores or        Control unit for connecting appropriate switches to large (1800 watt)
 cooking                       appliances such as mixer, popcorn popper, toaster, vacuum cleaner, place
                               mixing bowl in shallow drawer and close drawer to hold bowl in place
 Access to items               Lazy Susan storage on lower shelves; lower counter for cooking or play;
                               low pull-out drawers, straps or large knobs on drawers, storage racks;
                               remove cabinet doors; use reacher; keep most-used items, snacks within
                               easy reach, attach leg extenders to chair
 Carrying items                Slide across counter, table; use cart, walker/wheelchair basket or tray
 Seeing items                  Adequate lighting, contrasting colored dishes, place mats, napkins,
                               utensils with brightly colored handles

                Weighted bowl, nosey cup, and adapted spoon                             Feeder seat with
                        on nonslip Dycem placemat                                        safety straps

40      Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities

Possible Problem           Potential Intervention/Modification

Access to toys             Lazy Susan shelves at arm level; several small toy baskets or boxes for
                           sorting/storing; arm/wrist supports, reacher, short handrails, grab bars
Playing with battery       Switches to turn toys off and on, ramps to race cars or other push toys,
operated toys, push/       pull toys attached behind mobility aid, switch and fan to blow bubbles
pull toys, bubble
Communicating needs,       Communication board with pictures, pictures or icons taped to walls or
making choices for         objects, dial communicator with representative objects; remote control for
games, TV, music, or       TV and stereo, lamps, slide projector
other activities
Physically participating   Acts as game leader or referee using spinner connected to communication
in games or activities     board; chooses pictures of family members or peers in communication
with others                card holders or on bulletin board (by pointing); uses a switch to play tape
                           recorded names of peers or family members
Turning pages of books,    Page fluffers (attach sponge squares w/paperclips to pages), cardboard
caring for books           to stiffen pages (requires two copies of book), electronic page turner,
                           laminate pages of books
Verbally participating     Record repeated phrase on “loop tape” and use switch to activate tape
in interactive stories,    recorder; or record phrase on single message communicator
such as those with
repeated phrases
 Sitting unassisted        Crescent shaped pillow in chair or on floor, bean bag chair
Soft chair                 Board under cushion; pillow, crescent pillow, or folded blanket to raise
                           seat; automatic seat lift/chair; firm arm rests to push on; firm back and
                           seat cushions
Swivel or rocking          Device to block motion, remove wheels
chairs, rolling chairs
Swinging                   Modified bean bag swing, safety harness, adapted chair swing
Walking unassisted         Walker, braces, go-cart, wheelchair, wide doors (32 inches), ramps at
                           recommended incline of one inch in rise for each foot of distance (1:12),
                           grab bars and hand rails
Access to and seeing       Illuminated light switches on light
                                                                                          Spinner with
light switches             switch extension plates, touch
                                                                                          plate switch
                           sensitive switches, voice activated
                           lights, motion activated lights

                            Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities               41

     Possible Problem          Potential Intervention/Modification

     Getting through           Install off-set door hinges, install wider doors
     narrow doorways with
     mobility device
     Climbing stairs           Lift or elevator, mobility devices at top and bottom of stairs, safety gates at
                               top and bottom of stairs, adjustable hand rails, grab bars
     Seeing stair edges        Bright lighting, safety tape at edge of each stair
     Walking along hallways    Adjustable handrails, grab bars, walker, scooter, wheelchair or other
                               mobility device
     Slippery rugs             Remove or tack down

               Ramp to front door with recommended ramp pitch


     Possible Problem          Potential Intervention/Modification

     Getting from house to     Ramp to front door with recommended ramp pitch: one inch of rise for
     yard or car               each foot of distance (1:12), wheelchair, lift, stroller with seating/safety
     Playing in yard,          Adapted swing, go-cart, adapted outdoor toys, bats, batting tees, and
     playground or             balls, ramps for toys and wheel chair, go-cart or other mobility device,
     swimming pool             safety helmets, elbow, shin, knee guards; foam floats, life jacket for
     Getting into vehicles,    Lift, adapted car seat, safety belts, cushions, transfer board
     sitting in car/vehicle

42          Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities

Possible Problem        Potential Intervention/Modification

Lighting                Illumination one to two feet from object being viewed; adequate lighting
                        in all parts of house
Glare                   Light-colored sheer curtains on windows with direct sunlight; gradual
                        decrease in illumination from foreground to background
Falling                 Emergency pager with adapted switch (Lifeline Systems: 1-800-451-0525);
                        remove rugs; clear pathways
Obstructing furniture   Rearrange to clear paths (especially tables with sharp corners, glass tops);
                        add padded bumper around top edge of tables; help child learn to
                               navigate but do not remove all furniture
Extension cords         Run along walls, under sturdy furniture; eliminate unnecessary cords; use
                        power strips with breaker
Wall sockets            Socket covers, sliding socket covers
Slippery floors         Non-skid wax, no wax, rubber soled footwear
Sliding rugs            Remove or tack down rugs, use rubber back or two-sided tape, use rubber
                        mat under throw rugs
Thick rug edge/         Metal strip at edge, yellow safety tape or paint stripe to mark change in
threshold               elevation, remove threshold, tack or tape down edge, portable ramp over
                        edge or threshold

        Safety helmet

                                                        Swing with safety straps

                         Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities                43
44   Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
                           guidelines for seleCTing assisTive
                           TeChnology (aT) for Children wiTh
                           Assessment for the purpose of getting (AT) devices and services is not a
                           neutral process. It is affected by subjective interpretations, values and
                           emotions. Naturally, parents want to make the best possible decision
                           about using AT with children with disabilities. It is the primary job of
                           the professional(s) making the assessment to guide a family through the
                           steps of the assessment procedure.

                           Rights and Safeguards of Children and Parents
                           Procedures and safeguards are in place to protect the personal rights
“A multidisciplinary       of your child and your family. Federal and state mandates require the
AT evaluation              school district and/or any other agency to comply with them. Parents’
identifies the AT          and children’s rights are discussed on pages 8 and 9. The special educa-
                           tion teacher at your school will gladly answer any questions and provide
devices or services        your family with a copy of the Parent Rights brochure.
that address the
developmental needs
of any child.”             The Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team
     –From IDEA 1997       Considering the assistive technology needs of a child is a collaborative
                           team process. The composition of the IEP team varies depending on the
                           needs of the child and the knowledge and skill level of team members.
                           The parent is always the key member of the team which may also include the
                           special educator, regular classroom teacher, audiologist, cultural repre-
                           sentative, speech/ language pathologist, psychologist/family therapist,
                           occupational therapist, physical therapist, assistive technology special-
                           ist, social worker, nutritionist, physician/pediatrician, nurse and/or
                           representatives from other agencies. A computer specialist may also be
                           a member of the team.

                           Responsibilities of the Special Educator
                           The special educator or other designated service provider guides the team
                           through the IEP process for children enrolled in the special education
                           program in Idaho schools. He/She may also serve as the point of con-
                           tact to helps families obtain needed AT devices, services and assistance.
                           The Infant Toddler Service Coordinator does the same for children in the
                           Infant Toddler Program, which is administered by the Idaho Department
                           of Health and Welfare.

                       Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities             45
The Role of the AT Specialist
An AT specialist may join the IEP team to help with the multidisci-            “Whenever possible,
plinary assessment, evaluation and implementation. However, an IEP             an AT assessment
that includes AT will be successful only if all IEP team members accept        should take place
responsibility for carrying out the plan, and monitoring the usefulness
and upkeep of AT devices.                                                      through observations
                                                                               during the child’s
                                                                               typical routines.”
        The Needs Assessment and the AT Evaluation                              –From the Connecticut
The main focus of the assessment process should be on the needs of the               In-Service Guide
child, not the technology. For some children, a team approach to assess-
ment may be the most appropriate. In other situations, no professional
involvement is needed. The best AT evaluations are made in the child’s
customary environment. Both parents and professionals will find the
following principles helpful when they begin to assess a child’s devel-
opmental progress and the decision to use AT.

■  An AT assessment can be requested at any time. It should routinely
   be considered when a child is first assessed for eligibility in a special
   education program.
■  AT should be considered when an activity, by its design, prevents a
   child from participating. AT can be used to modify an age-appropriate
   or grade-appropriate activity or enhance the child’s capabilities for
   participating in that activity.
■  Any AT device should aim at increasing a child’s independence in his/
   her learning environment, rather than on dependence on the technol-
   ogy. Whenever possible, the technology evaluation should be done in
   the environment in which it will be used.
■  AT should support the child in interactions with others, child-initiated
   play, expansion of knowledge and interests, and active exploration of
   the environment, and completion of educational tasks.
■  Family involvement in the choice of AT is essential to successful use of
   AT for any child. In order to compile the most helpful information, all
   members of the family and others who spend significant time interact-
   ing with the child, should have input.
■  The following indicators may be used in determining if an AT evalu-
   ation is warranted. Depending on his/her chronological age and natural
   developmental milestones, is the child able to:
  •  Complete school assignments, tasks effectively?
  •  Play with toys independently?
  •  Communicate and/or interact with others effectively?

46        Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
                                 •  Sit, stand crawl, walk independently?
                                 •  Drink, eat, feed himself/herself independently?
                                  Then, ask the question: “What would make this task (activity) easier for
                                  this child?”
                               ■  The AT evaluation should address the impact of a particular device on
                                  other aspects of the child’s life. For example, if a child needs a com-
                                  munication device, the assessment should also address positioning,
                                  access to the device, and mobility.
                               ■  AT should enhance the existing strengths and resources of the child
                                  and the family. It will be used in the customary environments and
                                  should be least intrusive to the family.
                               ■  Families should select the least restrictive option or the simplest tech-
                                  nology that will help a child meet his/her goals. Technology that is
“Idaho parents may                very complex may be no more effective, may be harder to use, or may
borrow AT devices to              be more intrusive than low-tech devices.
try with their children.       ■  Whenever possible, families should be able to borrow and try, rent, or
                                  at least view, the AT device before the purchase is made. All devices
Call the statewide AT             should be evaluated for appropriateness. The evaluation must include:
Loan Library at 1-888-            child issues, space issues, use issues, maintenance issues, and comfort
289-3259 for help.”
–From United Cerebral          ■  A child may only master the AT device by using it. Trial, with train-
                                  ing options, and time to work out problems are critical to successful
Palsy of Idaho                    use of AT.
                               To ensure consideration of AT when assessing the needs of a child with
                               disabilities, educators in Idaho public schools are provided with a sys-
                               tematic framework of questions. The forms, AT Check Lists and Student
                               Information Guide are found in the handbook, Assistive Technology in the
                               Schools: A guide for Idaho Educators written by The Idaho Assistive Technol-
                               ogy Project and the Bureau of Special Education.
                               It may not be necessary to complete every step of the assessment for each
                               child. However, if a child appears to have complex needs, following de-
                               tailed procedures will ensure the selection of the best possible assistive
                               devices or home modifications to meet those needs. This is important
                               for many reasons. First, research confirms that as many as one-third of
                               all devices purchased, most with taxpayer dollars, are abandoned within
                               one year after acquisition. Second, it is very important that the family and
                               the child are comfortable with the assistive devices provided to them, in
                               order to ensure they will use the devices. Lastly, using these assessment
                               procedures ensures that the most cost-effective AT intervention is selected
                               for a child. (R. J. Seiler, 1997.)

                           Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities               47
48   Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
V       assisTive TeChnology (aT) in The
        individualized eduCaTion program

        What Is an IEP?
        The Individualized Educational Program (IEP) is required for every child
        who is eligible for a special education program. It is a written tool that
        is used to plan, implement and evaluate the program. An IEP includes a
        statement of goals and benchmarks/objectives to monitor and measure
        its effectiveness. If a need is established, assistive technology (AT) is an
        integral part of these services and should be reflected throughout the IEP
        in all appropriate places.

        How is AT written into the IEP?
        Both the requirement for consideration of AT needs and the requirement
        for participation in statewide assessment place new responsibilities on
        the members of every IEP team for thinking about AT. There are several
        ways to approach these requirements. One strategy is to consider four
        kinds of modifications to the child’s activities and/or environment:
        ■  Modifications to the child’s performance (find another way to perform
        ■  Modifications to the task (shorten assignments);
        ■  Modifications to the tools the child currently uses to complete the tasks
           (provide different or new tool or AT device);
        ■  Modifications to the child’s environment (make changes in the school/
           home/community environment to ensure a successful FAPE).
        One or a combination of the modifications might be included in the IEP,
        which is a critically important tool for helping children get AT. The action
        plan incorporated into the IEP is documentation of AT that will be used
        to meet the needs of the child.

        Where does AT fit into the IEP?
        There are three places in the IEP where AT commonly appears:
        ■  In the annual goals and short-term objectives/benchmarks which in-
           clude assistive technology as a supplementary aid or service;
        ■  In the enumeration of supplementary aids and services necessary to
           maintain the child in the least restrictive environment (LRE);

    Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities               49
■  In the list of related services necessary for the child to benefit from
   his/her education.
The most common approach to including AT on the IEP is to simply list
  a piece of equipment as a supplemental aid.

What specific explanation of AT devices and services should be in the
The IEP should contain a clear description of:
■  The type of device, its purpose, and where it is to be used (i.e. specific
   activities, certain classes, all day, etc.);                                 “Provision of AT,
■  The training of the child, the staff, the family, and others involved in     alone, is not enough.
   the major life functions of the child;                                       For a child to be
■  The repair, maintenance, and upgrade, if appropriate;                        successful, follow-up
■  If the device is to be shared among children, each child’s IEP should        and training on a new
   describe the availability for each;
                                                                                AT device are critical
■  Any ongoing technical assistance, if required.
                                                                                for the child and all
                                                                                those who take part in
What is the procedure for developing an IEP that includes AT?
                                                                                the child’s day to day
Depending on time lines, the AT evaluation, and other information gath-
ered by the IEP team, there are two procedures for developing the IEP:          activities.”
■  An annual IEP is developed when evaluation information is complete
                                                                                                – Doty
   and the IEP team is prepared to determine the appropriate special edu-
   cation and supplementary or related services. If AT devices or services
   are determined necessary by the IEP team, then specific information
   must be integrated into the IEP;
■  In some cases, an interim IEP may be needed until more information
   is gathered regarding a student’s particular needs for AT services and
   devices. An interim IEP allows for temporary use of special education
   services and related services, including AT, before the annual IEP is
The child’s IEP must be reviewed annually, and goals should be revised
as needed. New AT should be provided for the child as needs and goals

50        Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
    Transition Services

    How does a child with special needs make the transition from one
    program to another?
    Transitions will take place several times during a child’s educational
    career. Most commonly, they occur when a child moves between edu-
    cational programs that are run by different agencies, between schools,
    and when he/she finishes high school. For example, if your child has
    been in the Idaho Infant Toddler Program, at the age of three, he/she
    may become eligible for the Early Childhood Education Program in the
    public school.
    To ensure a smooth transition to any new program, grade level, or school,
    planning must begin well before the time your child must transfer, (usu-
    ally three to six months). A Transition IEP team, of which parents are key
    members, is the group responsible for determining eligibility for services.
    The Transition IEP team helps your family prepare for funding changes,
    schedule changes, referral to specific individuals, and site visits between
    sending and receiving agencies, and it determines the transfer of AT
    devices and services.
    The transition from high school begins early, by or before age sixteen,
    and is an integral part of the Transition IEP for secondary students with dis-
    abilities. The Vocational Rehabilitation counselor joins the team to help
    conduct the assessment. Taking into account the student’s dreams and
    interests, this includes preparing and planning for post secondary educa-
    tion such as college or vocational school, work, living away from home,
    and community participation. It must include a statement of transition
    service needs. The determination of responsibility for AT devices and
    services are a part of the Transition IEP. Special education rights may
    transfer from the parents to the student at age eighteen if determined by
    the IEP team.

                                 Adjustable worktable

Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities                 51
52   Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
                             aCquisiTion of assisTive TeChnology
                             Acquisition includes purchasing, leasing, or any other manner in which
                             the assistive device may be provided. Meeting time lines and financing
                             AT are among the greatest barriers to getting the AT devices and services
                             for children whose AT needs can change very quickly. Actions that can
                             reduce barriers to speedy acquisition of AT devices are: finding a fund-
                             ing agent; finding agreement among agencies about responsibility for
                             payment; exploring personal resources to finance AT; and, becoming an
                             advocate through understanding your child’s needs and rights.

“It is our hope that         What is Advocacy?
                             Advocacy is a way for all of us to help children with disabilities. By being
this handbook will           advocates, parents, family members, and professionals can help get the
help empower parents         technology a child needs, and protect a child’s rights. Some things you
to become strong             can do as an advocate are:
advocates for their          ■  Attend meetings and speak up for the rights of your child;
children with special        ■  Talk openly with the professionals who work with you and your child
                                because they are advocates for your child, too;
                             ■  Learn all you can about AT and how to get it;
           –Ron Seiler
                             ■  Read about the laws that guarantee AT devices and services for chil-
                                dren with disabilities;
                               Web site: www.ideapractices.org/law_res/doc/resources/detail.
                             ■  Ask questions about anything you do not understand about your child’s
                                development, the AT evaluation, assistive technology, or funding;
                             ■  Help make decisions about AT for your child as provided in the law;
                                appeal decisions if you do not agree with them;
                             ■  Talk to other parents about the rights of their children;
                             ■  Keep records about the decisions that are made and the time lines for
                                carrying out the plans.
                             Although many challenges face a family who wishes to get AT devices
                             and services for a child with disabilities, they are not insurmountable. It
                             is the hope of the IATP that increased knowledge, understanding, and
                             collaboration will lead to successful acquisition and use of AT.

                         Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities               53
54   Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
                                   funding assisTive TeChnology (aT)
                                   for Children wiTh disabiliTies

                                   At the time of your child’s needs assessment and AT evaluation it is
                                   important to discuss how the AT devices and services will be funded for
                                   school and/or home. Detailed, documented results of the assessment
                                   and evaluation are necessary when working with funding agencies. If
                                   you plan to pay for the technology yourself, you will probably not be as
                                   concerned about precise documentation.
                                   In Idaho, special education services are provided by federal, state, local,
                                   and private resources, under IDEA, Part B. The special education program
                                   must be carried out at public expense, with no fees charged to families.
                                   This includes funding for AT devices and services, if the need has been
                                   established, and AT has been written into the IEP. In addition, Idaho has
                                   determined that children eligible under IDEA, Part C, may receive early
                                   intervention services, including AT, at no cost to parents.
                                   School districts are required to provide AT for children with disabilities
                                   if it is needed to ensure FAPE. This includes requirements for AT listed
                                                     on the Interim IEP for children moving from the Infant
                                                     Toddler Program to early childhood programs at the age
                                                     of three, or the Transition IEP for high school students.
Major Funding Sources for AT
                                                     Medicaid or Medicare may be billed for reimbursement
Public School Districts/Infant Toddler Program       of AT devices and services. Third party reimbursement
Medicaid/Medicare                                    from private insurers may be used as a source of payment
                                                     for AT devices and services if families give permission to
Vocational Rehabilitation                            access it. Costs of co-payments or deductibles incurred
Bureau of Indian Health/Tribal Affairs               for special education programs are funded by the school
                                                     district. The responsibility of each agency involved in the
Low Interest Loans                                   IEP process should be clearly defined, including who is
Private Insurance Plans                              responsible for purchasing and providing training, repair,
                                                     and replacement of AT.
Personal Payment by Parents
                                                     The IEP team has the responsibility of locating and secur-
Non-Profit Disability Associations                   ing funding for the specified AT. The designated member
Foundations and Clubs                                of the IEP team (usually the special educator) will send
                                                     the formal request to the funding agency; however, it is
Employers and Local Businesses                       wise for parents to play an active role in developing a
Private Corporations                                 funding request. It is important to meet the requirements
                                                     of the agency exactly when preparing this package. The
                                                     series of forms in the manual, Assistive Technology in the
                                   Schools: A Guide for Idaho Educators, will help to document the necessary
                                   procedures systematically.

                              Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities                 55
       Guidelines for Developing a Funding Request                             “Although parents
                                                                               are not responsible for
A funding request is the application, information, and documentation           preparing the funding
required by all funding agencies when they are asked to fund AT or equip-      request, you must
ment for an individual with disabilities. Funding for AT is a challenge
that can be overcome by examining as many funding sources as possible;
                                                                               help make funding
and, by being creative, well organized, and persistent in timely follow-up     decisions that could
as your request proceeds through a funding system.                             affect your own health
The purpose of these guidelines is to show how a formal funding request        insurance coverage.”
package is prepared. To ensure a faster response, the funding request                  –From the IATP
package will be forwarded to the agency only after all required documen-
tation is complete. Remember, this is the opening documentation of your
case file with any funding agency. The designated contact person will:
■  Prepare a formal funding request package. Include the documentation
   of the needs assessment, the AT evaluation, the funding justification,
   any other paperwork the agency requires; and, a letter of transmittal.
■  Keep copies of every document and conversation concerning your
   funding request. Note names of persons with whom you speak, dates
   of communication and the content of the discussion as you understood
   it. (It is also advisable for parents to record this information.)
■  Consider all possible options for paying for the assistive technology
   device or service: Medicaid or Medicare, private insurance, the family’s
   personal resources, a low-cost bank loan, or community resources.

Parents may request the following information from a governmental
agency which is legally bound to provide funding to people who meet
certain eligibility requirements:
■  Request for all agency information including rights and responsibili-
   ties of the individual, laws and regulations that apply to the agency,
   eligibility criteria, chain of command, and appeals procedures;
■  Request in writing to see a copy of your case file if you are already a
   client of the agency (Parental Request);
■  Request information, and necessary forms for application and justifica-
   tion for funding from government sources.

Private sources have internal selection criteria for selecting certain indi-
viduals for funding of loans. They are not legally bound in the same way as
governmental agencies to provide funding. Parents may contact private
insurance companies, loan agencies, non-profit disability groups, local
organizations and/or businesses to request the following:

56        Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
                                   ■  Request information about funding policies and criteria;
                                   ■  Request necessary forms for application and justification for fund-
                                   ■  Select the most appropriate funding agency based on all the informa-
                                      tion you have collected.

                                                Although they may appear complex and time-consuming,
                                                there are ten steps that, when followed carefully, will help
Ten Steps to a Successful Funding Request       simplify the procedure for obtaining funding for needed
                                                technology. Because your child’s developmental and educa-
Step 1 - Develop a documentation check-
                                                tional needs change rapidly, a timely response to the request
         list of contents and completion
                                                for AT is crucial.
Step 2 - Define the student’s needs and
         document the needs assessment.         What is a Funding Justification?
Step 3 - Document the evaluation of the
                                                In addition to documenting the needs assessment and AT
         technology device/service.
                                                evaluation, you will need a funding justification. A fund-
Step 4 - Determine the funding sources.         ing justification is different from an AT evaluation. The AT
Step 5 - Determine if alternative equip-        evaluation determines what tool or equipment a child needs.
         ment will meet the need.               A funding justification states how that tool would improve
                                                the child’s life in some way. The funding justification clearly
Step 6 - Develop the funding justifica-
                                                builds the case for the funding request, starting from an
                                                assumption that the AT evaluation identified a valid need.
Step 7 - Write the letter of transmittal        Minimally, it should:
         (cover letter).
                                                ■  State the need that the AT will address as established
Step 8 - Receive authorization from fund-          in the assessment/evaluation;
         ing agency.
                                                ■  Document the consumer’s proven ability to utilize the AT;
Step 9 - Search for co-payment options (if
          necessary).                           ■  Explain why this specific AT is the best solution;
Step 10- Proceed with appeals process (if       ■  Explain other solutions that were tried and found
        funding is denied).                        unsuccessful;
                                                ■  Include pictures or video of the consumer using the AT
                                                   with positive results; and,
                                                ■  Address any other concerns the specific funding agency
                                                   has historically expressed in response to similar funding

                                   How should the Funding Request Package be organized?
                                   Prior to submitting the funding request, the IEP team will develop a docu-
                                   mentation checklist to attach to the file. As each piece of documentation
                                   is added to the file, check it off. Organize and label the funding request
                                   package clearly. All pages should be clearly numbered and labeled with

                              Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities                57
your child’s name, the document name, and the date. Such labeling will
ensure that as the request is processed, pages will not be lost. Include a
letter of transmission.
The letter of transmission (cover letter) should:
■  List the documentation in the request by name and/or form number;
■  Indicate how many copies of each document are in the package;
■  Give the name of the consumer;
■  Provide a name and phone number of a contact person; and,
■  Request that the funding agency get in touch with the contact person
   immediately if necessary documentation is missing or if processing
   the claim will be delayed for any reason.

How does the client communicate with the funding agency?
As you can envision, working with funding
sources requires patience, perseverance and at-
tention to detail. The designated contact person
                                                      Important Definitions Pertaining to Funding
                                                      As you investigate the possible avenues of funding for
■  Communicate in writing whenever possible
                                                      your child, keep in mind that some options may affect
   and direct calls and letters to the same person
                                                      your own insurance policies in the future.
   each time;
■  Maintain frequent communication with the           Co-payment: A specified charge that must be paid each
   funding source to keep the process on track;       time care or medical services of a particular type are
                                                      received. The instances in which a co-payment will be
■  Keep careful records and documentation of          required are specified in the schedule of benefits. The
   all communication to speed up the funding          co-payment must be paid before any other payment
   process.                                           will be made for that specified benefit. The co-pay-
Parents may contact the Idaho Assistive Tech-         ment amount does not count toward satisfaction of
nology Project (IATP) for more specific tips on       the insured’s deductible or out of pocket maximum
how to develop a funding package; how to bor-         for the plan year.
row or substitute a piece of equipment; or, how
                                                      Deductible: The amount the insured must pay on
to proceed if your funding request is denied
                                                      covered benefits before the insurance company will
(1-800-432-8324 voice/TTY or visit the web site:
                                                      pay during a benefit period.
www.idahoat.org). You may also contact Compre-
hensive Advocacy for the Disabled (CO-AD) at          Life Time Cap: The maximum amount (limit) that
1-800-632-5126.                                       the insurance is obligated to pay for all medical care
                                                      during the life time of the insured.
                                                      Medical Assistance (Medicaid): The insurance pro-
                                                      gram administered by the Department of Health and
                                                      Welfare to help eligible persons by paying certain
                                                      medical costs. The program, based on financial need,
                                                      is paid for by state and federal taxes.

58        Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
    Schools or early intervention programs cannot require parents to use
    insurance to pay for a child’s required services. The use of privately or
    publically funded insurance must be strictly voluntary. There are some
    very important issues to consider when parents are deciding whether or
    not to use their insurance:
    ■  Is there an annual or lifetime limit on coverage for specific services?
    ■  Do claims affect your chances of getting insurance in the future?
    ■  Do claims affect future insurance costs?

    Major Funding Sources for Assistive Technology

    Sources of financial assistance for the purchase of assistive technology
    are many and varied. Each source has different eligibility criteria. Most
    require a completed application for services or financial assistance. All
    have specific rules regarding what equipment can be purchased. In addi-
    tion to the school district, the following list provides a starting point in a
    search for funds. Although it is by no means exhaustive, it includes some
    of the programs which may help pay for assistive technology devices for
    a child with disabilities:

    Early Intervention Programs/School Systems
    These state agencies have developed policies and guidelines for procuring
    and purchasing AT for children with disabilities.
    ■  School Districts are required to provide AT for children with dis-
       abilities if it is needed for his/her free appropriate public education
       (FAPE). Districts assign the IEP team the responsibility of locating and
       securing funding for the AT device or service listed in the student’s
       IEP, the Interim IFSP/IEP for children making a transition from the
       Infant Toddler Program at age three, and the Transition IEP at the high
       school level. The IEP team can decide to seek funding for AT from
       other agencies, if appropriate.
    ■  Idaho Infant Toddler Program for young children (0-3 years) will help
       evaluate the needs of an infant or toddler, help obtain AT, and train
       families to use it, at no cost to parents. Equipment and services must be
       written in a plan called the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).
       For more information, contact Idaho Care Line at: 1-800-926-2588
       (English), 1-800-677-1848 (Spanish), or TT 208-332-7205. The e-mail
       address is: careline@idhw.state.id.us or use the web site: http://www.

Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities                 59
       State and Federal Insurance Programs                                     Funding Sources

■  Medicaid is a joint state and federal program which covers some equip-       Idaho Medicaid Programs/
   ment if it is considered medically necessary and accompanied by a
   physician’s prescription. Medicaid services are based on financial need.     Questions on eligibility and funding
   School districts may seek reimbursement from Medicaid. Currently,
                                                                                Idaho Medicaid Office
   the program covers a range of durable medical equipment (DME),               Division of Welfare
   supplies and services, adaptive equipment or assistive technology            P.O. Box 83720
   that is medically necessary for the student to be able to participate in     Boise, ID 83720
   his/her educational program, i.e. communication devices. When pos-           (208) 334-5747 voice
                                                                                Web site: www.medicaid.idaho.gov
   sible, Medicaid reimbursement should be sought under the categories
   of “Durable Medical Equipment,” “Therapy,” or “Early and Periodic
   Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT)”. The Children’s Health
   Insurance Program (CHIP) is also administered by Medicaid. (Contact
   the Idaho State Medicaid Office at (208) 334-5747 or Idaho Careline at
   1-800-926-2588 for the nearest regional office).
  •  Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) is a
     special program for children created under Medicaid. EPSDT is not
     a service per se, but a provision enabling children below the age of
     21 to receive screening and diagnostic services, and any medically
     necessary treatments that may not be available under a state’s Med-
     icaid plan. It includes clinical and rehabilitative services, physical
     therapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology and audiology,
     licensed psychology services, social work services, and in-patient
     psychiatric screening facility services for individuals under age 21. If
     a determination is made that a child needs any of the services stated
     above, then the services must be provided whether or not they are
     included in the state plan. (Call the EPSDT coordinator/school-based
     services at (208) 334-5747.)
  •  Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Title XXI, part of Bal-         Medicaid Department
     anced Budget Act, 1997, is a part of Medicaid. It does not provide            formerly known as the
     insurance directly to families, but reimburses providers for covered          Children’s Health Insurance
                                                                                   Program (CHIP)
     supplies and services rendered to qualified recipients. CHIP may              (208) 334-5747 voice
     provide preventive checkups, immunizations, or treatment for               Idaho Careline at 1-800-926-2588
     common childhood illnesses. CHIP also provides for women of                   or 2-1-1
                                                                                Web site: www.medicaid.idaho.gov or
     childbearing age who don’t have health insurance.                             www.idahochild.org
                                                                                National -

60        Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
Funding Sources                           ■  Medicare is a federal health insurance program serving individuals
                                             over 65 years old plus those under 65 with severe disabilities. It covers
                                             health care costs and is divided into two parts. It is Part B that can be a
Idaho Medicare Programs/Ser-
   vices                                     source of funding for assistive technology for individuals who qualify
                                             for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for a period of at least
Questions on eligibility                     25 months. The requirements are similar to those for Medicaid.
Local Social Security Adminis-              •  Social  Security  Benefits,  Part  B  of  Medicare, now provides that
   tration/                                    Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is available to children with
SSA Regional Office                            serious disabilities, as based on functional assessments. Because of
Attn: Disability Program
2001 Sixth Ave. M/S RX-50
                                               this ruling, children can be any age, even newborn. Family income
Seattle, WA 98121                              is a factor in eligibility, but value of house, land, vehicle, personal
1-800-772-1213                                 household belongings, pensions, and work property are exempt.
1-800-MEDICARE (633-4223)
Web site: www.ssa.gov/disability            •  Katie Beckett Program is a law for children who do not typically
                                               qualify for medicaid. Katie Beckett provides coverage for children
Questions on coverage                          deemed diagnostically eligible for assistance, using SSI definition,
CIGNA Medicare                                 but who would be financially ineligible due to parental income.
3131 W. State Street                           Children must meet medical necessity requirements for institutional
Boise, ID 83720                                care; however, the technology can be used to help maintain the child
                                               at home.
To Order Publications                       •  Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Plan for Achieving 
(410) 965-0945
Web site: www.ssa.gov/disability               Self-Support (PASS) can be a source of funding for some children.
                                               PASS is most appropriate for children over fifteen.

Vocational Rehabilitation (Voc.           ■  Vocational Rehabilitation Services provides information, evaluation
  Rehab.) Services                           services, training, and funding for technology to help students who are
                                             twelve and older pursue vocational goals and live more independently.
Questions on eligibility and cover-
  age                                        A student must have a physical or mental disability which results in
                                             a substantial handicap to employment; and, there must be a reason-
Idaho Division of Vocational                 able expectation that, with the provision of services, the person will
Len B. Jordan Bldg.                          be able to become employed. A Vocational Rehabilitation counselor or
650 W. State St. Rm. 150                     representative is on the Transition IEP Team for a high school student
P. O. Box 83720                              with disabilities. (Call 1-800-856-2720 for information.)
Boise, ID 83720-0096
(208) 334-3390 voice

                                          Third Party Funding Sources
                                          ■  Third Party Payment (Private insurance, national nonprofit organi-
                                             zations, local community service agencies, loans): All or any of these
                                             avenues should be tried if the parents wish to do so. It is important to
                                             find out about any “Lifetime Caps” that may appear in insurance poli-
                                             cies. It is imperative that parents understand the possible limitations
                                             or rules on caps on the policies before tapping into them.

                                      Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities                 61
  •  Private Insurance Plans may buy equipment or pay part of the cost,        Funding Sources
     but it will depend on the policy. The equipment must be considered
     medically necessary and will require a doctor’s prescription. The
     devices are unlikely to be listed specifically in the policy, but may     Idaho Low Cost Loan Program
     be included under some generic term like “therapeutic aids”. The
                                                                               For questions on eligibility
     use of private insurance is strictly voluntary.
  •  Idaho Assistive Technology Fund helps to provide Idahoans with            Idaho Assistive Technology
     disabilities, their families, or representative, the opportunity to get   Idaho Assistive Technology
     a low interest loan for the purpose of purchasing equipment. Again,          Project
     districts cannot require parents to seek such an option to fund the       129 West Third Street
                                                                               Moscow, ID 83843
     AT. (Call 1-800-432-8324 or see the web site: www.idahoat.org.)           1-800-432-8324 voice
  •  Personal  Payment  by  Parents may be used for purchasing items           Web site: www.idahoat.org
     such as adaptive toys or an assistive technology device. Sometimes
     parents buy the items themselves and the agency helps with repairs.
     (Ask at your local school about the laws governing this type of ar-
  •  Foundations and clubs such as the Elks, Moose Lodge, Rotary, Lions,
     Shriners, Kiwanis, Cristina Foundation, Bell Telephone, Pioneers of
     America, Sertoma, Quota, Soroptomists, Optimists, sororities/fra-
     ternities, Knights of Columbus, and/or churches may offer money
     to buy technology. Check with foundations in your area. Coverage
     is usually for local individuals.
  •  Employers  and  Local  Businesses: In our own communities, there
     are many opportunities for private funding through businesses.
     Coverage varies usually after other sources have been exhausted.
     Employers usually assist employees, their families, and the local
     community. Often businesses have a component which includes
     giving back to the local community.
  •  Private corporations/AT manufacturers/Vendors such as IBM, Apple,
     Microsoft, Dell, Gateway, Bell Telephone, IntelliTools and many oth-
     ers may offer AT through research and schools, if not to individuals.
     Some offer loan or used equipment programs and training/educa-
     tion programs.

■  Non-Profit Disability Associations may be able to loan equipment or
   provide information about other funding sources or support groups.
   Usually they, themselves, do not provide funds. See the names and
   addresses of state and national organizations in Chapter VIII.

62        Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
                                       assisTive TeChnology (aT)
                                       resourCes for Children wiTh

                                       Idaho State Agencies, Organizations and Resources

                                       The Idaho Assistive Technology Project
Idaho Assistive Technology             The Idaho Assistive Technology Project (IATP) assists Idahoans with
   Project                             disabilities to acquire the assistive technology they need to live more
Center on Disabilities and Human       independent and productive lives. The IATP is dedicated to increasing
University of Idaho                    the availability of assistive technology throughout Idaho, appropriate to
129 West Third Street                  individual needs, for Idaho citizens with disabilities. The IATP conducts
Moscow, ID 83843                       activities in three broad areas: Policy; training and empowerment; and,
(208) 885-3557 voice/TTY
(208) 885-3628 fax                     individual advocacy and support. Services and support for all users of
1-800-432-8324                         assistive technology include the following:
Web site: www.idahoat.org
                                       ■  AT assessment, consultation, and information services and a used
Nora Jehn, Training Coordinator           equipment recycling program (Examples of AT may be borrowed to
(208) 885-3630 voice/TTY                  try at home by calling (208) 377-8070 or 1-888-289-3259 or by e-mail
E-mail: noraj@uidaho.edu
                                          at info@ucpidaho.org. They will ship items statewide for use by indi-
Sue House, Information and Re-            viduals and schools.);
   ferral Specialist
(208) 885-3771 voice/TTY               ■  a state-wide information and referral program related to assistive
E-mail: sueh@uidaho.edu                   technology (Catalogs, information sheets, and videos describing assis-
                                          tive technology devices and services are available at no charge.);
                                       ■  state-wide training and technical assistance to parents, children, and
                                          professionals (The IATP regularly holds workshops, sponsors technol-
                                          ogy fairs, makes presentations to individuals and organizations, and
                                          provides on-going technical assistance throughout Idaho.);
                                       ■  advocacy services related to assistive technology through its affilia-
                                          tion with Comprehensive Advocacy, Inc. (Co-Ad) (Areas of assistance
                                          include Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, special education, and
                                          vocational rehabilitation.);
One goal of the IATP                   ■  low interest loans to purchase assistive technology through the com-
is to increase the                        bined efforts of banks in Idaho, the Idaho Community Foundation and
availability of AT                        the IATP (Any person with a disability living in Idaho, or any person
                                          acting on their behalf, may apply for a loan.);
services, even in the
                                       ■  a state-wide used equipment recycling program through which
most rural areas of                       individuals can find listings of devices available for sale or, in some
Idaho.                                    cases, at no cost.
                 – Seiler

                                   Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities             63
State Agencies

     Idaho State Department of Education                            Bureau of Developmental Disabilities
     (Education Services Ages 3-21)                                 Department of Health and Welfare
     Bureau of Special Education                                    450 W. State Street, 5th Floor
     Department of Education                                        Boise, ID 83720-0036
     650 W. State Street                                            (208) 334-5500 or 2-1-1 voice
     P. O. Box 83720                                                (208) 334-6664 fax
     Boise, ID 83720-0027                                           Web site: www2.state.id.us/dhw/directory
     (208) 332-6800 voice                                           Children’s Mental Health Services
     (208) 334-4664 fax                                             Bureau of Family and Children’s Services
     Web site: www.sde.state.id.us/SpecialEd/Staff                  Department of Health and Welfare
                                                                    450 W. State Street, 3rd Floor
     Preschool (3-5) Programs                                       Boise, ID 83720-0036
     Bureau of Special Education                                    1-800-926-2588 or 2-1-1 voice
     Department of Education                                        Web site: www2.state.id.us/dhw/directory/regions.htm
     650 W. State Street
     P.O. Box 83720                                                 Idaho Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
     Boise, ID 83720-0027                                           650 W. State Street, Room 150
     (208) 332-6917 voice                                           Boise, ID 83720-0096
     (208) 334-4664 fax                                             (208) 334-3390 voice
                                                                    Web site: www.state.id.us/idvr/idvrhome.htm

The Idaho Infant Toddler Program provides early intervention services                           Idaho Infant-Toddler Program
to meet the developmental needs of any child with disabilities or devel-                        Department of Health and Welfare
                                                                                                P.O. Box 83720
opmental delays, and the needs of the family related to enhancing the                           450 W. State Street, 7th floor
child’s development. The services are carried out in community settings                         Boise, ID 83720
so that children with disabilities or delays grow up in typical settings with                   (208) 334-5500 voice
                                                                                                (208) 334-0645 fax
their families and peers. Seven regional offices provide services under the                     1-800-926-2588 (Idaho Care Line)
Idaho Infant Toddler Program. Contact the Early Intervention Specialist                                                        2-1-1
at the office nearest you.                                                                      Web site: www.idahochild.org

Idaho Infant Toddler Program Regional Offices/Early Intervention Specialists

      Region Counties                                                                         Phone

        1      Benewah, Boundary, Kootenai, Shoshone                                          (208) 769-1515
        2      Clearwater, Idaho, Latah, Lewis, Nez Perce                                     (208) 799-4338
        3      Adams, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Washington                                (208) 455-7106
        4      Ada, Boise, Elmore, Valley                                                     (208) 334-6747
        5      Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka, Twin Falls          (208) 736-2182
        6      Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida, Power                  (208) 239-6280
        7      Bonneville, Butte, Clark, Custer, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi, Madison, Teton    (208) 528-5791

64           Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
State Agencies                           Idaho Indian Health Services and the Indian Head Start Programs are
                                         provided by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Each tribe or nation has its own
                                         program. Call the numbers listed below for more information.

Idaho Indian Health Services and the Indian Head Start Programs

        Coeur d’Alene Tribe                                     Nez Perce Tribe
        Indian Health Services                                  Indian Health Services
        Benewah Medical Center                                  P.O. Box 367
        1151 B Street                                           Lapwai, ID 83540
        P.O. Box 388                                            (208) 843-7330 voice
        Plummer, ID 83851
        (208) 686-1931 voice                                    Nez Perce Tribe Head Start
        1-800-325-7371                                          (208) 843-5428 voice
                                                                Northwest Band of Shoshoni Nation
        Coeur d’Alene Tribe Head Start                          Indian Health Services
        (208) 686-6507 voice                                    427 N. Main, Suite 101
                                                                Pocatello, ID 83204
        Duck Valley Shoshone-Paiute Tribe                       (208) 478-5712 voice
        Indian Health Services (Tribal Headquarters)            (208) 478-5713 fax
        P.O. Box 130
        Owyhee, NV 89832                                        Shoshone-Bannock Tribes
        (775) 759-2412 voice                                    Indian Health Services
                                                                P.O. Box 717
        Kootenai Tribe of Idaho                                 Fort Hall, ID 83203
        Indian Health Services                                  (208) 238-2400 voice
        32 A County Rd.
        Bonners Ferry, ID 83805                                 Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Head Start
        (208) 267-5223 voice                                    (208) 238-3986 voice

    Adapted tape recorder
      with earphones
                                                               Quicktionary Reading Pen

                                  Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities                65
Organizations with a focus on advocacy, information and referral, and                State Organizations
support services
Alliance for Technology Access (ATA), a non-profit organization, provides            Alliance for Technology Access
information and support services to children and adults with disabilities               (ATA)
                                                                                     The Idaho State-wide AT Loan
all across the country, increasing their use of technology. It includes re-             Library
source centers, developers and vendors, affiliates and associates that serve         United Cerebral Palsy of Idaho
consumers, schools, health professionals and community organizations.                   Inc. (UCPI)
It serves people of all ages and all disabilities. The Idaho State-wide              5420 West Franklin Rd., Suite A
                                                                                     Boise, ID 83705
AT Loan Library is operated by United Cerebral Palsy of Idaho (UCPI).                (208) 377-8070 voice
Parents may borrow AT devices to try or use with their children on a                 (208) 322-7133 fax
temporary basis.                                                                     1-888-289-3259
                                                                                     E-mail at info@ucpidaho.org
                                                                                     Web site: www http://ucpidaho.

Center on Disabilities and Human Development (CDHD) is the University                Center on Disabilities and Hu-
Center for Excellence on Developmental Disabilities Education, Service                  man Development
                                                                                     University of Idaho
and Research for Idaho. The CDHD promotes quality lives in integrated                129 West Third Street
settings for people of all ages with disabilities, individuals at-risk, and          Moscow, ID 83843
their families through education, outreach, service and research.                    (208) 885-3559 voice
                                                                                     (208) 885-3628 fax
                                                                                     E-mail: jfodor@uidaho.edu
                                                                                     Web site: www.idahocdhd.org

Co-Ad accepts referrals, through a collaborative effort with the Idaho As-           Comprehensive Advocacy, Inc.
sistive Technology Project (IATP), to obtain advocacy and legal services                (CO-AD)
                                                                                     Idaho’s Protection and Advocacy
related to assistive technology. Areas of assistance include: Medicaid,                 System
Medicare, Private Insurance, Special Education, Vocational Rehabilita-               4477 Emerald, Suite B-100
tion.                                                                                Boise, ID 83706
                                                                                     (208) 336-5353 voice
                                                                                     (208) 336-5396 fax
                                                                                     E-mail: coadinc@cableone.net
                                                                                     Web site: http://users.moscow.com/co-ad
Idaho Head Start Association offers preschool programs for children not              Idaho Head Start Association
enrolled in privately funded programs. Head Start is paid for by gov-                200 North 4th Street
                                                                                     Suite 20
ernment funds and is also available to Indian and Migrant children. Call             Boise, ID 83702
the Community Action Offices in your region to reach the Head Start                  (208) 345-1182 voice
Coordinator.                                                                         (208) 345-1163 fax
                                                                                     1-800-574-2008 voice
                                                                                     E-mail: ihsa@rmci.net
                                                                                     Web site: www.rxhsa.net/id

     Council for the Deaf and Hard     Idaho Commission for the Blind          Idaho Council on Developmental
        of Hearing                        and Visually Impaired                   Disabilities
     1720 Westgate Drive               341 W. Washington                       802 W. Bannock
     Boise, ID 83704                   Boise, ID 83720                         Boise, ID 83702-5840
     (208) 334-0879 voice/TDD          (208) 334-3220 voice                    (208) 334-2178 voice
     Web site: www.cdhh.idaho.gov      (208) 2963 fax                          (208) 334-3417fax
                                       Web site: www.icbvi.state.id.us         (208) 334-2179 TDD
                                                                               Web site: www.icdd.idaho.gov
                                                                               E-mail: info@icdd.idaho.gov

66          Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
State Organizations                      The Idaho Migrant Council is a statewide program that has seven regional
                                         offices. You may call the Caldwell office for information about the other
Idaho Migrant Council
Migrant Head Start Program
                                         regions and about the Migrant Head Start Programs in each region.
317 Happy Day Blvd.
Caldwell, ID 83607
(208) 454-1652 voice

Idaho Parents Unlimited (IPUL)           Idaho Parents Unlimited (IPUL) is a statewide organization which pro-
600 North Curtis Road, Suite 145         vides support, information and technical assistance to parents of children
Boise, ID 83706
(208) 342-5884 voice/TDD
                                         and youth with disabilities. IPUL, headquartered in Boise, has seven
(208) 342-1408 fax                       regions, which correspond to the state Health and Welfare offices.
1-800 242-4785
E-mail: parents@ipulidaho.org
Web site: www.ipul.idaho.org

Idaho Parents Unlimited (IPUL) Regional Offices

       Region I - Lisa Richards-Evans         Region III - Hortencia Lemus      Region VI - Christine Rawlings
       2025 St. Estephe Ct.                    Hispanic Specialist              195 W. 3600 S.
       Hayden, ID 83835                       1716 Summerwind Dr.               Preston, ID 83263
       (208) 762-3484 voice/TDD               Nampa, ID 83651                   (208) 852-3634 voice/fax
       E-mail: lisarevans@aol.com             (208) 465-4551 voice              E-mail: ipulreg6@rmci.net
                                              E-mail: reyes@micron.net

       Region II - Theresa Graber             Region IV - Kristina Rice         Region VI - Kathy Gneiting
       175 Highland Ct.                       811 Riviera Dr.                   Transition Specialist
       Orofino, ID 83544                      Boise, ID 83703                   953 South 24th West
       (208) 476-4187 voice/fax               (208) 367-1286 voice/fax          Aberdeen, ID 83210
       E-mail: ipulreg2@orofino-id.com        E-mail: ipulreg4@rmci.net         (208) 226-1841 voice/fax

       Region III - Jennifer Bach             Region V - Charla Thurber         Region VII - Beth Eloe-Reep
       7630 Colehaven Ave.                    2120 E. 1775 S.                   1970 Belmont Ave.
       Boise, ID 83704                        Gooding, ID 83330                 Idaho Falls, ID 83404
       (208) 376-8432 voice/fax               (208) 934-8960 voice/fax          (208) 523-1914 voice/fax
       E-mail: ipulreg3@rmci.net              E-mail: ipulreg5@rmci.net         Email: ipulreg7@rmci.net

Idaho Relay Services for the             The Idaho Relay Service makes telephone communication possible be-
   Deaf and Hard of Hearing              tween two deaf or hard of hearing persons (or between deaf or hard of
(Hamilton Telecommunications)
P.O. Box 285
                                         hearing persons and a hearing person). The caller’s number is dialed by
Aurora, NE 68818                         the relay service and the conversation is typed and spoken verbatum for
1-800-618-4781                           the two parties.
E-mail: info@hamiltonrelay.com
Web site: www.hamiltonrelay.com

                                    Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities               67
Idaho School for the Deaf and the Blind provides diagnostic services and        State Organizations
educational programs for children with vision and hearing deficits, birth       Idaho School for the Deaf and
to 21, as well as consultation and support services, information, and loan         Blind (ISBD)
of some equipment to elementary and secondary schools throughout the            1450 Main Street
                                                                                Gooding, ID 83330-1899
state.                                                                          (208) 934-4457 voice/TDD
                                                                                (208) 934-8352 fax
                                                                                Web site: www.isdb.idaho.gov
The Idaho Speech, Language and Hearing Association (ISHA), an educa-            Idaho Speech, Language and
tion-based clinic, accepts referrals from doctors and community services           Hearing Association (ISHA)
                                                                                Idaho school for the Deaf and Blind
in southeastern Idaho. It conducts language, speech and hearing evalu-          1450 Main St.
ations and provides therapy.                                                    Gooding, ID 83330
                                                                                E-mail: gayle.chaney@isdb.idaho.gov
                                                                                (208) 934-4457 voice
The Idaho State Bar Association provides an Attorney Referral Service           Idaho State Bar Association
and the Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program (1-800-221-3295 voice) or (208)         525 West Jefferson
                                                                                P.O. Box 895
334-4510.                                                                       Boise, ID 83701
                                                                                (208) 334-4500 voice
                                                                                (208) 334-4515 fax

The Idaho State Independent Living Council (SILC), in cooperation with          Idaho State Independent Living
the Idaho Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (IDVR) and the Idaho               Council (SILC)
                                                                                PO Box 83720
Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ICBVI), develop, moni-          350 North 9th, Suite 610B
tor, and review independent living services provided through state and          Boise, ID 83720-9601
federal programs for people with disabilities. SILC provides information,       (208) 334-3800 voice/TDD
                                                                                (208) 334-3803 fax
conducts studies and outreach to expand and improve independent liv-            1-800-487-4866
ing services in Idaho.                                                          Web site: www.silc.idaho.gov

The Idaho Task Force on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a          Idaho Task Force on the Ameri-
                                                                                   cans with Disabilities Act
private non-profit organization that provides technical assistance, training,      (ADA)
consultation, and information on the ADA and related laws.                      350 North 9th, Suite 102
                                                                                Boise, ID 83702
                                                                                (208) 344-5590 voice
                                                                                (208) 344-5563 fax
                                                                                E-mail: idtaskfrc@aol.com
                                                                                Web site: www.adataskforce.org

Lifeline Systems, Inc. offers an emergency communications system: A             Lifeline Systems, Inc.
hotline to a central location in the community which will, in turn, notify      111 Lawrence St.
                                                                                Framingham, MA 01702
a designated family member or the medical facility, ambulance, or fire          1-800-380-3111
department. The costs vary.                                                     Web site: www.lifelinesys.com

68        Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
                                          National Organizations and Conferences

                                          There are many national organizations that will be helpful to the school
                                          staff in the investigation or use of assistive technology.

Discipline-specific Professional Organizations
  American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
  P.O. Box 31220                                                  International Society for Augmentative and Alterna-
  Bethesda, MD 20824-1220                                            tive Communication (ISAAC)
  (301) 652-2682 voice                                            428 East Preston Street
  1-800-377-8555 (toll-free number for members only)              P.O. Box 10906
                                                                  Baltimore, Maryland 21202-39943
  American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)             1-877-8US-SAAC
  10801 Rockville Pike                                            E-mail: info@ussac.org
  Rockville, MD 20852                                             Web site: www.ussaac.org
  (301) 897-5700 voice
  (301) 897-0157 TTY                                              The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps
  1-800-638-8255 or 1-800-498-2071                                   (TASH)
  Web site: www.asha.org                                          29 W. Susquehanna Ave., Suite 210
                                                                  Baltimore, MD 21204
                                                                  1-800-482-8274 voice
                                                                  (410) 828-8274
                                                                  Web site: www.tash.org

                                          Interdisciplinary Professional Organizations

Rehabilitation Engineering and            RESNA is the premier organization focused on assistive technology.
   Assistive Technology Society           RESNA holds an annual conference devoted entirely to assistive technol-
   of North America (RESNA)               ogy. It publishes a journal called Assistive Technology. In addition, RESNA
Suite 1540
1700 North Moore St.                      offers a number of other publications on assistive technology. For any
Arlington, VA 22209                       therapist whose focus is on assistive technology, RESNA membership is
(703) 524-6686 voice                      a must. Under RESNA, every state operates an information and referral
(703) 524-6630 fax
(703) 524-6639 tdd
                                          program on assistive technology devices and services. Idaho’s program
Web site: www.resna.org                   is the Idaho Assistive Technology Project (IATP). Call 1-800-432-8324
E-mail: info@resna.org                    or visit the web site: www.idahoat.org

TRACE Research and Develop-               TRACE publishes The Trace Resource Book: Assistive Technology for Com-
   ment Center                            munication, Control, and Computer Access. This 900+ page book is compiled
University of Wisconsin, College of       and updated to help professionals, consumers, and family members un-
2107 Engineering Centers Bldg             derstand and locate useful tools. Emphasis is on functions, not disabili-
1550 Engineering Dr.                      ties, so the products are organized under “Communication,” “Control,”
Madison, WI 53706                         “Computer Access,” and “Special Software”. It includes information
(608) 202-6966                            resources. The RESNA and TRACE and ABLEDATA (database) guides
Web site: www.trace.wisc.edu/
                                          will be your critical resources for assistive technology. TRACE conducts
                                          research in the field of AT, including the Universal Design/Disability
                                          Access program and Universal Design Research Project.

                                      Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities                    69
ABLEDATA is a national electronic database for assistive technology (AT)        National Organizations
containing more than 25,000 commercially available products for people          ABLEDATA (A National Electronic
with disabilities from approximately 2500 manufacturers. It provides               Database for AT)
                                                                                National Rehabilitation Information
detailed information for products in all aspects of independent living,            Center
personal care, transportation, communication and recreation.                    8630 Fenton St., Suite 930
                                                                                Silver Spring, MD 20910
                                                                                (301) 589-3563 voice
                                                                                1-800-346-2742 or
                                                                                Web site: www.abledata.com

CEC is the largest international organization, with seventeen divisions         Council for Exceptional Chil-
dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with special            dren (CEC)
needs. DEC is for educators and parents of children, birth through eight        Division of Early Childhood
years. TAM focuses on assistive technology for children with special            Technology and Media Division
needs. CEC publishes two major journals for professionals who work                  (TAM)
with children with special needs: Exceptional Children with focus on re-        1110 North Glebe Road, Suite 300
                                                                                Arlington, VA 20191-1589
search, education, issues; and, Teaching Exceptional Children with focus        1-888-232-7733 voice
on practical articles on methods and materials for the classroom.               Web site for CEC: www.cec.sped.
For the State of Idaho Chapter of CEC, please call the National CEC at 1-888-   Web site for DEC:
232-7733. You will be referred to the current state president.                      www.dec-sped.org/
                                                                                Web site for TAM: www.tamcec.

Closing the Gap offers an annual conference that is held in Minneapolis         Closing the Gap
each year. This conference attracts a number of therapists as well as edu-      P.O. Box 68
                                                                                Henderson, Minnesota 56044
cators. The focus of Closing the Gap is mainly, though not exclusively,         (612) 248-3294 voice
on assistive technology for education. One does not become a member of          Web site: www.closingthegap.com
Closing the Gap but rather subscribes to its bi-monthly newspaper. For
school-based occupational therapists, a subscription to Closing the Gap is
a very helpful information source.

The March of Dimes is a national voluntary health agency whose mission          March of Dimes Resource
is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects and infant          Center
                                                                                1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
mortality. It is your source of information on pregnancy and birth defects.     White Plains, NY 10605
The agency funds programs of research, community services, education            1-888-MODIMES (888-663-4637)
and advocacy to save babies.                                                    (914) 997-4764 TTY
                                                                                (914) 997-4763 fax
                                                                                E-mail: resourcecenter@
                                                                                Web site: www.modimes.org

The Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc. is an advocacy group which pro-           National Assistive Technology
vides an excellent source of information about court cases and decisions.          Advocacy Project
                                                                                Neighborhood Legal Services,
The National Assistive Technology Resource Library has established a               Inc.
work-searchable digest, using computer technology, to store and retrieve        295 Main St., Room 495
documents on hearing and court decisions involving assistive technol-           Buffalo, NY 14203
                                                                                (716) 847-0650
ogy. The National Assistive Technology Resource Library web site is:            E-mail: nls01@sprynet.com
(www.nls.org/resource.htm).                                                     Web site: www.nls.org

70        Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
National Organizations                    National Cristina Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation dedicated
                                          to the support of training through donated used technology. Cristina
                                          Foundation is a partner with Computing Technology Industry Association
National Cristina Foundation              (CTIA) with over 7,500 manufacturers, distributors and businesses. The
500 W. Putnam Ave                         foundation provides computer technology and solutions to give people
Grenwich, CT 06830
(203) 863-9100                            with disabilities, students at risk, and the economically disadvantaged,
Web site: www.cristina.org                the opportunity, through training, to lead more independent, productive
                                          lives. At the same time, it gives technology resources from an enterprise
                                          a second productive life.

                                          Consumer-oriented Organizations
                                          The following organizations offer information on assistive devices for
                                          specific disability groups. This information may be helpful to therapists,
                                          and consumers, alike. Typically, the information is written in a style that
                                          is understandable and informative for consumers.

Assistive Technology Funding              The Assistive Technology Funding and Systems Change Project has as one
   and Systems Change Project             goal, to remove barriers and promote systems change to provide greater
United Cerebral Palsy Associa-
   tions                                  access to assistive technology devices and services.
Suite 700, 1660 L Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
1-800-872-5827/(202) 776-0406 voice
(202) 776-0414 fax
E-mail: atproject@ucpa.org

Center for Applied Special                The Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) expands opportunities
   Technology (CAST)                      for people with disabilities through product development and applied
40 Harvest Mills Square, Suite 3
Wakefield, MA 01880-3233
                                          research. CAST product development focuses on creating universally
(781) 245-2212                            designed curriculum and software including network learning systems for
E-mail: cast@cast.org                     elementary schools and colleges; and, supported learning tools and cur-
Web site: www.cast.org                    riculum in the areas of literacy, mathematics, science, and social studies.
                                          Research is conducted in classrooms, homes, community organizations
                                          and on the Internet. The new technologies can be used, not only to over-
                                          come existing learning barriers, but also to design learning environments
                                          with fewer barriers right from the start.

Center for the Study of Autism,           Center for the Study of Autism provides information and research on
   Inc.                                   autism, auditory integration training and sensory integration therapy.
P. O. Box 4538
Salem, OR 97302
(503) 363-9110 voice
Web site: www.autism.org

                                      Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities              71
The National Academy for Child Development (NACD) is an interna-                      National Organizations
tional, non-profit, charitable organization that designs specific home
educational and therapeutic programs for infants, children, and adults
                                                                                      The National Academy for Child
with any disability. Its goal is to empower parents with specific exper-                 Development (NACD)
tise enabling them to assume primary responsibility for their children’s              549 25th St.
maximum growth and development. The NACD gathers, evaluates, and                      Ogden, UT 84401-2422
                                                                                      (801) 621-8606
disseminates information and procedures relative to human develop-                    (801) 621-8389
ment. The NACD distributes information through audio tapes, software,                 E-mail: info@nacd.org
seminars and workshops, and the Internet.                                             Web site: www.nacd.org

PACER is an information and training center for parents and their children            Parent Advocacy Coalition For
with disabilities. It publishes a variety of materials including a book and               Educational Rights (PACER)
                                                                                      8161 Normandale Blvd.
video: Kids Included through Technology are Enriched (KITE): A guidebook for          Minneapolis, MN 55437
Teachers of Young Children. The publications provide the rationale for using          (952) 838-9000 voice
assistive technology to include young children with special needs in the              (952) 838-0190 tdd
                                                                                      (952) 838-0199 fax
classroom. It guides parents and professionals toward practical strategies            1-888-248-0822 voice
for integrating computers, communication aids, and other devices to help              E-mail: pacer@pacer.org
children with disabilities at school and at home.                                     PACER web site: www.pacer.org
                                                                                      Alliance web site: www.taalliance.
                                                                                      FAPE web site: www.fape.org
Organizations for Persons with Vision Impairment

  American Foundation for the                Lighthouse International          National Library Service for the Blind
     Blind                                   111 East 59th Street                 and Physically Handicapped (Talk-
  11 Penn Plaza, Suite 300                   New York, NY 10022-1202              ing Books)
  New York, Ny 10001                         (212) 821-9200 voice              1291 Taylor Street, NW
  (212) 502-7600 voice                       (212) 821-9713 TTY                Washington DC 20011
  Web site: www.afb.org                      (212) 821-9713 fax                1-888-657-7323
                                             1-800-829-0500                    Web site: www.loc.gov/nls
                                             Web site: www.lighthouse.org

Organizations for Persons with Hearing Impairments

     Alexander Graham Bell Association for    National Captioning Institute    National Information Center on
        the Deaf                              1900 Gallows Rd., Suite 3000        Deafness
     3417 Volta Place, NW                     Vienna, VA 22182                 Gallaudet University
     Washington, DC 20007-2778                (703) 917-7600                   800 Florida Avenue, NE
     (202) 337-5220 voice/TDD                 Web site: www.ncicap.org         Washington DC 20002
     Web site: www.agbell.org                                                  (202) 651-5051 voice
                                                                               (202) 651-5052 TDD
                                                                               Web site: http://clerccenter.gallaudet.edu

                                                                                      United Cerebral Palsy of Idaho
Organizations for Persons with Physical Disabilities                                     Inc. (UCPI)
UCPI of Idaho provides services to persons with disabilities. They have               5420 West Franklin Rd., Suite A
                                                                                      Boise, ID 83705
information and referral services, education and training. They also                  (208) 377-8070 voice
loan assistive technology for trial periods and run an adaptive computer              1-888-289-3259
center.                                                                               E-mail: info@ucpidaho.org
                                                                                      Web site: www.ucpidaho.org

72          Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
Books                                     Books, Catalogs, Publications

                                          You will find a wide array of books about specific disabilities and assis-
                                          tive technology listed in the catalogs and on the Internet sites. Because
                                          it is best to choose books that have the most up-to-date information, we
                                          have included only a few titles in this handbook.

Designing and Using Assistive             Designing and Using Assistive Technology is noteworthy for its holistic
   Technology (1998)                      view of assistive technology (AT). This book brings together the expertise
by David B. Gray, Louis A Qua-            of researchers, theorists, and practitioners, and personal insights from
   trano, Morton L. Lieberman
Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.            AT users of all ages, to examine how and why people choose and use
P. O. Box 10624                           various forms of AT. In addition to sharing the latest available findings
Baltimore, Maryland 21285-0624            on design and development, it examines the crucial intangibles of AT,
                                          such as judging environmental compatibility. The book is for designers,
                                          manufacturers, and users.

Ideas and Materials to Help the           Ideas and Materials to Help the Nonnverbal Child “Talk” at Home (Book) and
   Nopnverbal Child “Talk” at
   Home (Book)                            Quick and Easy: How to Set Up Your Home to Help the Nonverbal Child (Video)
Quick and Easy: How to Set Up             offer answers to questions and concerns about things to do to help your
   Your Home to Help the Non-             child talk. They give suggestions to develop verbal skills, make choices,
   verbal Child (Video)
by Carolyn Rouse and Katera               and interact socially. The 200 page book features 72 pre-made overlays in
Mayer-Johnson                             the following categories: choosing clothing, grooming, calendar, bedtime,
P. O. Box 1579                            T. V., play and games, travel, school, cleaning room, eating, restaurant,
Solana Beach, CA 92075-7579
                                          ball games, shopping. Age range: 9 mo.+

Living in the State of Stuck:             Living in the State of Stuck: How Technology Affects Persons with Disabilities
   How Technology Affects Per-            deals with the national problems of mis-diagnosis and abandonment of
   sons with Disabilities (2nd ed.)       assistive technologies. Dr. Scherer gives us an consumer-driven, person-
by Marcia Scherer
Order from: Special Needs Project         centered model to match the person with the device to get us all out of
   (www.specialneeds.com/) or             a state of stuck.

The New Language of Toys:                 The New Language of Toys: Teaching Communication Skills to Children with
   Teaching Communica-                    Special Needs, a Guide for Parents and Teachers is an excellent guide for
   tion Skills to Children with
   Special Needs, a Guide for             parents. It provides an in-depth understanding of language develop-
   Parents and Teachers (1996)            ment cognitive, and physical development based on incremental ages,
by Sue Schwartz and Joan E.               birth to six years. It offers ideas for using toys and play activities to teach
   Heller Miller
Woodbine House, Inc.
                                          language and other communication skills to children who may have a
6510 Bells Mill Rd.                       language delay. It describes specific toys, the maker, and the use of each
Bethesda, MD                              in helping build communication skills. Many home-made toys are listed
                                          and described. (289 pages.)

                                      Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities                  73
Commonly used AT catalogs are available from vendors. A partial list
follows. Call the Idaho Assistive Technology Project for information and
copies (1-800-432-8324).

     AbleNet, Inc.             800-322-0956            Adrian’s Closet                 800-831-2577
     Apple Computer            800-795-1000            After-Therapy                   800-634-4351
     Don Johnston, Inc.        800-999-4660            Dr. Leonard’s                   800-455-1918
     Dunamis, Inc.             770-279-1144            Enrichment (Sammons P.)         800-323-5547
     IBM Special Needs Systems 800-SHOP-IBM            Flaghouse                       800-793-7900
     Intelitools               800-899-6687            Maxi Aids                       800-522-6294
     RJ Cooper & Assoc.        800-752-6673            USA Jeans                       800-935-5170
     TASH                      800-463-5685
     SENSORY ENHANCERS                                 Allegro                         877-291-7350
     Computer Prompting           202-977-6678         Amigo Mobility                  800-248-9130
     Deaf Comm. Of Cincinnati     800-775-3323         Daedalus Technology (DaeSSy)    800-561-5570
     HARC Mercantile, Ltd.        800-445-9968         Everest & Jennings              800-322-4681
     Harris Communication         800-825-6758         Invacare                        800-333-6900
     HiTech                       800-288-8303         Pegasus                         800-665-6767
     Human Ware                   800-722-3393         Quickie Designs, Inc            209-292-2171
     Kurzweil                     800-894-5374         RJ Cooper & Associates          714-240-1912
     LS& S                        800-468-4789
     Marilyn Electronics          800-622-9558         AUGMENTATIVE & ALTERNATIVE COMMUNICATION
     Optalec-low vision           800-580-6086         Aug. Comm Consultants, Inc. 800-982-2248
     Phone TTY                    201-489-7889         Communication Devices, Inc. 800-604-6559
     Phonic Ear                   800-227-0735         Creative Communication      435-645-7737
     Sign Enhancers               800-825-6758         Crestwood Company           414-352-5678
     Sensory Comfort              888-436-2662         Dynavox                     800-697-7332
     The Lighthouse Catalog       800-829-0500         Innocomp                    800-382-8622
                                                       LinguiSystems               800-776-4332
     SEATING & POSITIONING                             Mayer & Johnson             800-588-4548
     Danmar Products              800-783-1998         MicroFlip, Inc.             301-262-6020
     Flaghouse                    800-793-7900         Prentke Romich Company      800-262-1984
     HOPE Play Equipment          800-950-5185         Wolf Adamlab                248-362-9603
     Rifton                       800-571-8198         Word +, Inc.                800-869-8521
     Sammons Preston              800-323-5547         Zygo                        800-234-6006

     EDUCATION                                         RECREATION AND LEISURE
     Attainment Company           800-327-4269         Access To Recreation            800-634-4351
     Riverdeep                    800-362-2890         Natural Access                  800-411-7789
     Gryphon House, Inc.          800-638-0928         Skiforall (outdoor rec. club)   425-462-0978
     HATCH                        800-624-7968
     Laureate                     800-562-6801         TOYS
     Leap Frog                    800-701-5327         Enabling Technologies           800-777-3687
     Learning Services            800-877-9378         KidTech Tools, Inc.             877-938-6738
     Technology for Education     612-686-5678         Salco Toys                      507-645-8720
     The Learning Company         800-395-0277

74         Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
Publications                         Publications
Assistive Technology:                Assistive Technology: The Official Journal of RESNA is published quarterly
The Official Journal of RESNA        and focuses on practitioners in assistive technology service delivery.
1700 N. Moore St.                    Articles fall into the following categories: (1) applied research (2) review
Suite 1540                           papers summarizing the work of several investigators (3) perspectives on
Arlington, VA 22209                  issues in assistive technology by recognized authorities (4) practical notes
E-mail: journal@resna.org
                                     or papers that describe new methods and (5) case studies that present
                                     work in progress or studies where there are only a few subjects.

Technology and Disability            Technology and Disability is a new journal concerning the application of
IOS Press                            rehabilitative and assistive technology by persons with disabilities. It
Nienwe Hemweg 6B
1013 BG Amsterdam
                                     considers both low and high technology devices designed to improve
The Netherlands                      human function, and each issue focuses on one specific topic. Technology
                                     & Disability concerns the application of technology to the performance
                                     of major life roles: education, employment, and recreation.

                                     Electronic Resources and Web Sites

                                     Computer Companies
                                     There are many computer companies that have divisions dedicated to
                                     development of assistive technology for people with disabilities. A few
                                     companies besides the three listed below include Gateway, Dell and
                                     Hewlett Packard. There are many more with web sites on the Internet.

    Apple Disability Solutions        IBM Human Ability of Accessibility        Microsoft Corporate Headquar-
    Accessibility in Education           Center                                    ters
    1 Infinite Loop                   Building 904, Internal Zip 9448           One Microsoft Way
    Cupertino, CA 95014               11400 Burnet Road                         Redmond, WA 98052-6399
    1-800-767-2775                    Austin, TX 78758                          1-800-642-7676 voice
    Web site: www.apple.com/          1-800-426-4832                            Web site: www.microsoft.com/en-
       education/resources            Web site: www.ibm.com/sns or www-            able/ or web site: msn.com

                                 Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities                   75
Computer Networks                                                                   Computer Networks

Electronic networks provide web sites, bulletin boards, databases, elec-
tronic mail (e-mail), and online conferencing. Web sites supply you with
information about the special education laws, the Tech Act, the Americans
with Disabilities Act, state and national organizations, and many avail-
able resources. Chatrooms can put you in touch with other people with
similar interests. Many people subscribe to local networks. Connecting
fees and monthly fees vary.

     America On Line Corporate      CompuServe Disability Forum               Microsoft Internet Explorer
     AOL LLC                        5000 Arlington Center Blvd.               One Microsoft Way
     22000 AOL Way                  P. O. Box 20212                           Redmond, WA 98052-6399
     Dulles, VA 20166               Columbus, OH 43220                        (425) 882-8080 voice
     1-800-827-6364                 1-800-848-8990 (Billing)                  Web site: www.microsoft.com/inter-
     Web site: www.aol.com          1-800-944-9871 (Technical Support)           netexplorer/

Web Sites and Web Links to Sources of Information for Educators and                 Web Sites
Parents of Children with Disabilities

Children with disabilities, parents, and educators can find a wealth of
information, support, and assistance through a connection to the Internet.
The following web sites provide parents, caregivers and educators with
needed and welcome information to assist them to maximize their skills
for parenting or teaching children with special needs.

Assistive Technology Information Web Sites
Abledata is an on-line database of more than 17,000 products ranging               www.abledata.com
from canes to voice activated software. Searches can be accomplished by
using a keyword, brand name of company name. Each product detailed
description includes the products price, manufacturer information, and
distributors name and phone number.
Alliance for Technology Access (ATA) is a network of community-based                www.ataccess.org/
resource centers, developers and vendors dedicated to providing informa-
tion and support services to children and adults with disabilities, and in-
creasing their use of standard, assistive, and information technologies.
Idaho Assistive Technology Project (IATP) is a federally funded project

76          Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
Web Sites                          dedicated to increasing the availability of assistive technology through-
www.idahoat.org                    out Idaho. The IATP places special emphasis on providing training and
                                   services to anyone with disabilities regardless of age or ability.
                                   Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) conducts research and
www.cast.org                       application of Universal design of learning technologies and digital cur-
                                   ricula for inclusion of children with disabilities in regular classroom.
                                   Closing The Gap focuses on computer technology for people with special
www.closingthegap.com/             needs. Search the annual resource directory online.
                                   National Cristina Foundation is a not for profit foundation dedicated to
www.cristina.org                   training through donated, used technology. Cristina Foundation partners
                                   with over 7,500 manufacturers, distributers, and businesses to provide
                                   computer technology and solutions to people with disabilities, students
                                   at risk, and the economically disadvantaged. At the same time, it gives
                                   technology resources from an enterprise a second productive life.
                                   Training and Technical Assistance Center (T/TAC) Shareware/Public
www.disabilityresources.org/       Domain Library Organization maintains a large collection of public
AT_SHAREWARE.html                  domain programs useful to teachers and parents of special needs stu-
www.nsnet.org/atc/shareware.       Virtual Assistive Technology Center specializes in freeware/shareware
html                               for people with disabilities.

  Other educational Web sites:     www.shareware.com             www.free-software-freeware-downloads.com

                                   General Disability Information Web Sites
www.ala.org                        American Library Association Resources for Parents, Teens, and Kids
                                   is the librarian’s guide to cyberspace for parents and kids has links to
                                   over 700 sites especially for kids, teens, adults who care for them, and
www.beachcenter.org                The Beach Center offers sample Beach Center newsletters, advocacy how-
                                   tos, opportunities for parents to make connections with other parents of
                                   children with disabilities, coping strategies for a disability diagnosis, laws
                                   that affect families, links to other sites and much more.
www.disabilitynetwork.com          Complete Disability Network is a network run by and operated by
                                   people with disabilities for people with disabilities - 20 web sites, 1000
                                   web pages, 5000 links.
www.cec.sped.org                   Council for Exceptional Children offers resources, information, and sup-
                                   port for families of children with disabilities, and educators.

                               Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities                 77
Children’s Software Review reviews children’s educational software,               Web Sites
articles about computers and children, tester comments, and catalogs.             www.childrenssoftware.com
Disability Resources on the Internet provides links for hundreds of on-           www.disabilityresources.org
line resources, a monthly newsletter, and other information for parents of
children with disabilities and professionals who work with them.
Exceptional Parent: Resource Guide is a directory of national organiza-           www.eparent.com
tions, associations and programs, products and services for individuals
with disabilities.
Family Education provides resources, information and ideas relating to            www.familyeducation.com/
learning disabilities. Message boards, software and expert advice are             home
also found at this site.
Family Village offers parents a user interface that is designed to look like      www.waisman.wisc.edu/
a town. It includes a library card catalog of explanations of the scientific
diagnoses of disabilities and features a coffee shop and post office which
offer opportunities to communicate with other parents by providing
information on mailing lists, newsgroups, Internet relay chat lines, and
e-mail matches of disability diagnoses.
The Family Planet site is not specifically designed for parents of children       www.family.go.com
with disabilities, but includes information that is of concern to all families.
Use SEARCH to locate “disabilities.”
Internet Resources for Special Children (IRSC) includes a wide collec-            www.irsc.org
tion of links ranging from specific disabilities, clothing, online magazines,
travel, recreation, health care and more.
Our Kids provides parents with information that is helpful for raising            www.ourkids.org
children with disabilities. This information includes but is certainly not
limited to a reading list for parents, nutrition tips, and a list of special
education acronyms that is useful for parents.
Parents Helping Parents features a directory of parental resources that           www.php.com
can be downloaded to PCs, information on their parent and professional
training opportunities, a sales outlet for used computers and information
on the Kids on the Block program.
The PACER Center in Minneapolis provides answers to many of the                   www.pacer.org
questions that parents of children with disabilities might have, as well as
information on groups that might be of benefit to parents.
Publications for Parents is a mega-resource center for parents covering           www.parentsplace.com/
pregnancy to old age.

78        Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
Web Sites
                                      Specific Disabilities Information Web Sites
www.afb.org                           American Foundation for the Blind includes links to legal resources, re-
                                      ports, videos, books and fact sheets relating to low vision and the blind.
www.deafchildren.org                  American Society for Deaf Children has resources for parents including
                                      information about conventions, legislative resources, parent connected
                                      e-mail network, speakers bureau, and other resources.
www.thearc.org                        The ARC offers information on mental retardation, news of the support
                                      and services that it offers to both parents and siblings, and activities of
                                      the organization.
www.chadd.org                         CHADD (Children with Attention Deficit Disorder) includes an explana-
                                      tion of the organization, behavior management suggestions, and infor-
                                      mation for medical interventions that are used by parents for attention
                                      deficit disorder.
www.downsyndrome.com                  Family Empowerment Network is specifically for children with Down
                                      Syndrome but useful to other parents of children with disabilities. This
                                      site provides access for families to many other parent sites, both in the
                                      U.S. and Canada.
www.LDonline.org                      LD Online lists many resources for parents, teachers and students relating
                                      to learning disabilities. It includes national and state agencies.
www.ldanatl.org                       Learning Disabilities Association provides position statements, legisla-
                                      tive updates, parental rights and tips for parenting children with learning

                                      Other specific disability sites include:

  AIDS - (http://php.ucsf.edu)                                Lupus Foundation of America - (www.lupus.org)
  Autism Society - (www.autism.org)                           Multiple Sclerosis Society - (www.nmss.org)
  Brain Injury Association USA - (www.biausa.org/)            National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. (NORD) -
  Cancer Information Service - (http://cis.nci.nih.gov)          (www.rarediseases.org)
  Oncolink: The University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center -    Net Connections for Communication Disorders and
     (http://oncolink.upenn.edu)                                Sciences - (www.mnsu.edu/comdis/kuster2/welcome.
  Children with Diabetes - (www.childrenwithdiabetes.com)       html)
  Easter Seal Society - (www.easterseals.com)                 Sensory Integration International - (www.sensoryint.com)
  Epilepsy Foundation - (www.efa.org)                         Spina Bifida Association of America - (www.sbaa.org)
  Leukemia Society of America - (www.leukemia.org)            United Cerebral Palsy - (www.ucp.org)

                                 Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities                     79
Medical Information Web Sites                                                     Web Sites
American Academy of Pediatrics focuses on children’s health, learning             www.aap.org
disabilities, parenting, advocacy, eating disorders.
HealthScout Web site includes a doctor locator, medical and pediatric             www.healthscout.com
related encyclopedia, drug information and message boards.
Illness Health Care Information Resources Internet links for patients,            http://hsl.mcmaster.ca/tomflem/
their families and friends.                                                       ill.htm
Federal Telemedicine Gateway are electronic health care and medical               www.federaltelemedicine.com
education delivery services through video conferencing and interaction
between the patient at home and health care provider at the clinical site.
This web site provides links to other Web sites.
Other medical Web sites include:

        Med Help International - (www.medhelp.org)          PubMed - (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed)
        Medscape - (www.medscape.com)                       WebMD - (www.webmd.com)
                                                            WeMedia - (www.wemedia.com)

Web Sites Especially for Teachers
Blue Web’n Learning Applications monitors the best developments                   www.kn.pacbell.com/wired/
on the internet for education. Search for teaching resources and lesson           bluewebn
Circle of Inclusion offers demonstrations and information about the
effective practices of inclusive educational programs for children from
birth through age eight.
Council for Exceptional Children is a professional organization devoted
to all areas of special education.                                                http://education.umn.edu/nceo
The National Center on Educational Outcomes provides national leader-
ship in the identification of outcomes and indicators to monitor educati-
ional results for all students, including students with disabilities.
Special Education Resources on the Internet (SERI) is a collection of
Internet accessible resources in fields related to Special Education. SERI
makes resources more readily available in one location.
Works4Me classroom Tips Library is the archive of the popular                     ing/works4me/library.html
“Works4Me” weekly e-mail exchange. Search through over 400 classroom
tips from other educators.
Yahoo Special Education is a directory of special education-related Web           special_education/

80        Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
Web Sites                          Web Sites Especially for Children
www.askforkids.com/                Ask Jeeves for Kids is a specially designed search engine that enables
                                   users to enter their search in the form of a question.
www.homeworkheaven.com/            Homework Heaven is an extensive collection of online resources to assist
                                   students in locating information to complete their homework.
www.irsc.org/                      Internet Resources for Special Children offers valuable information for
                                   parents, family members caregivers, educators and medical professionals
                                   who interact with children who have disabilities.
www.earthstation9.com/index.       Kid Stuff is a part of the Complete Disability Network that connects
htm?hid_stuf.htm                   children to fairy tales, games, and other activities designed for children
                                   with disabilities.
www.leapfrog.com                   Leap Frog Schoolhouse is a part of the Leap Frog Toy company. If you
                                   get the palm computer, IQUEST, for example, you can download chapters
                                   of your school’s textbooks and study questions for each chapter as well
                                   as organize your day and keep track of assignments. The items made by
                                   this company are excellent examples of digital curricula.
www.studyweb.com/                  StudyWEB is a web site designed to assist students as they complete
                                   homework and research assignments.
www.siblingsupport.org             The Sibling Support Project is an national program dedicated to the
                                   interests of brothers and sisters of people with special health or devel-
                                   opmental needs.
www.yahooligans.com                Yahooligans is a site designed especially for children.

                                   Web sites especially for people with vision, learning or mobility
                                   disabilities and the Universal Design for Learning concept
www.bookshare.org                  Bookshare.org supplies over 10,000 accessible books in digital format for
                                   people who are blind, learning disabled, or who have mobility limitations;
                                   and for the schools and organizations that serve them.
www.loc.gov/nls                    National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
                                   (NLS/BPH), Library of Congress provides free loan of recorded and Braille
                                   books, magazines, music scores in Braille and large print, and specially
                                   designed playback equipment to U.S. citizens who need themand to or-
                                   ganizations that serve them.
www.rfbd.org                       Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D) provides recorded text
                                   books and other educational materials to all people with “print disabili-
                                   ties.” The levels range from college to kindergarten. The texts are in the
                                   process of being transferred to CD Rom and the Internet.
                                   (IATP Fact Sheet on web sites available from the Idaho Assistive Technol-
                                   ogy Project, Center on Disabilities and Human Development, 129 West
                                   Third Street, Moscow, ID 83843)

                               Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities             81
82   Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
         Anderson, C. and Anderson, K. Web sites for educators of children with disabilities.
           (Available from Elementary, Early and Special Education at Southeast Missouri
           State University, One University Plaza, Cape Giradeau, MO 63701).

         Armstrong, J. S. (1993). Planning technology interventions with families, a question-
           naire for families. Kids included through technology are enriched (KITE): a guide-
           book for teachers of young children. (Available from PACER Center, Inc., 4826
           Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55417-1098.)

         Center for Applied Special Technology. (n.d.). Universal design of learning technolo-
           gies: hearing on educational technology (text version). Retrieved August 6, 2001,
           from www.cast.org.udl/index.cfm?i=2021-4. CAST, 39 Cross Street, Peabody, MA

         Doty, M., Seiler, R. J. and Rhoads, E. L. (2001) Assistive technology in the schools: a
           guide for Idaho educators. (Available from the Idaho Assistive Technology Project,
           Center on Disabilities and Human Development, 129 West Third Street, Moscow, ID

         Doty, M. and Seiler, R. J. (1996). Idaho parent handbook. (Available from the Idaho
           Assistive Technology Project, Center on Disabilities and Human Development, 129
           West Third Street, Moscow, ID 83843).

         Edyburn, D. (Ed.). (May/June 1999). 99 essential web sites for educators. Special edu-
           cation technology practice. May/June 1999. Vol. 1, Issue 3. Knowledge by design,
           Inc. 5907 N. Kent Ave., Whitefish Bay, WI 53217-4615

         Enders, Alexandria, & Hall, Marion. ( Eds.). (1990). Assistive Technology Source Book.
           RESNA, Suite 700,1100 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036

         Hager, Ronald M. (1999). Funding of assistive technology, the public school’s special
           education system as a funding source: the cutting edge. (Available from Assistive
           Technology Funding and Systems Change Project, United Cerebral Palsy Associa-
           tions, Suite 700, 1660 L Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20036).

         Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Idaho infant toddler program implementation
            manual, revised. August 1999. (Available from Idaho Department of Health and
            Welfare, 450 W. State Street, P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0036).

         Idaho State Department of Education. Bureau of Special Education. Idaho special
            education manual, September 2001. (Available from Idaho State Department of
            Education, Special Education Section, 650 W. State Street, P.O. Box 83720, Boise,
            ID 83720-0027).

         Reed, P. (Ed.) (1998). Assessing students’ needs for assistive technology. p. 1-8.
           (Available from Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative, Polk Library, 800 Algoma
           Blvd., Oshkosh, WI 54406).

         Reed, P., Walser, P. (2000). Assistive technology consideration forms (Available from
           Wisconsin assistive Technology Initiative, Polk Library, 800 Algoma Blvd., Oshkosh,
           WI 54406).

         Rhoads, E. L., Seiler, R. J. and Doty, M. (2000). Assistive technology for infants and
           toddlers with disabilities. (Available from the Idaho Assistive Technology Project,
           Center on Disabilities and Human Development, 129 West Third Street, Moscow, ID

         Salmen, J. P. S. (Ed.). (1994). The do-able renewable home: making your home fit

     Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities                              83
     your needs. (Available from American Association of Retired Persons, Consumer
     Affairs Department, 601 E Street, N. W., Washington D. C. 20049).

Seiler, R. J. (1997). Assistive technology and environmental problems in the homes of
  Idaho’s older persons. Unpublished master’s thesis, University of Idaho, Moscow.

Seiler, R. J. and Rhoads, E. L. (1998). Assistive technology for older persons. (Avail-
  able from the Idaho Assistive Technology Project, Center on Disabilities and Human
  Development, 129 West Third Street, Moscow, ID 83843).

84           Assistive technology for school Age children with disAbilities
Acronyms and Abbreviations Related to AT
AAC          Alternative and Augmentative Communication
AT           Assistive Technology
ATRC         Assistive Technology Resource Centers
CCTV         Closed Caption Television
CP           Cerebral Palsy
CRS          Children Rehabilitation Services
DDD          Department of Developmental Disabilities
DME          Durable Medical Equipment
ECU          Environmental Control Unit
EHA          Education of the Handicapped Act
EPSDT        Early Periodic Screening Diagnostic Treatment
FAPE         Free Appropriate Public Education
IATP         Idaho Assistive Technology Project
IDEA         Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IDEA ‘97     Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 1997 Amendment
IEP          Individualized Education Program
IFSP         Individualized Family Service Plan
IHS          Indian Health Services
LRE          Least Restrictive Environment
OSEP         Office of Special Education Programs
PL           Public Law
RESNA        Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America
CHIP         State Children’s Insurance Program (administered by Medicaid)
SSI          Social Security Income
SSDI         Social Security Disability Income
TDD          Telecommunication Device for the Deaf
TTY          TeleTypewriter
TT           Text Telephone
The Idaho Assistive Technology Project provides public
 education, assistive technology assessments, assistive
technology fairs and community outreach presentations
               across the state of Idaho.

  It is the goal of the Idaho Assistive Technology Project to ensure that, in
 compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA),
            consideration be given to assistive technology (AT) for
                          all children with disabilities.

Idaho Assistive Technology Project
Center on Disabilities and Human Development
University of Idaho
129 West Third Street, Moscow, Idaho 83843
(208) 885-3557 voice/TTY
1-800-432-8324 voice/TTY