This module provides an overview of assistive technology (AT) used
by children with disabilities ages 5-11: what it is and how it can
be used to promote independent participation in elementary classrooms.
As educational reforms include the application of technology to
support and expand classroom curricula, assistive technology can
provide both routine and customized access to the general curricula
for students with disabilities. Although AT increases independent
participation in home, school and community environments, we will
focus on its impact in the classroom.
Assistive technology has the potential to augment abilities and,
bypass or compensate for barriers that disabilities create (Lewis,
1994). This and following modules address the potential of assistive
technologies as they relate to specific disabilities and life tasks.
For children with disabilities in public school classrooms, assistive
technologies are their tools to extend their physical, social and
communicative abilities. They also provide the means for academic
and cooperative inclusion.