Information for Parents Regarding Assistive Technology

Three things parents should know about assistive technology are....
Number one, they must know that technology has to be considered for their child with visual impairments. The reason is that it is written in IDEA 2004 that assistive technology must be considered for all students with disabilities. And usually three things will happen: where the consideration process will tell us or the team who is working with your child that assistive technology is needed, or assistive technology is not needed, or more information is needed.
Number-two thing that I want parents to know about is working with the school personnel and also the child's IEP team in getting assistive technology for the child. Ask about services because IDEA talks about assistive technology in terms of the device and services. That means, who is going to teach your child to use the technology? And who is going to let you know and teach you a little bit about how the assistive technology is going to work for your child?
The third thing that parents need to know is their child's current needs for technology. And for needs I mean educational needs. There are many choices out there but what the educational team is focusing on is how the technology is going to help your child with visual impairments to learn in school and to be successful. There must be some foundational skills and it's kind of like building a house, you have a good foundation and then you build the frame, and then you put the rest of the materials to make the house strong. And it's pretty much the same process that we try to focus on for your child who is using assistive technology or considered for assistive technology. What you want to remember is that without a solid foundation of basic skills, your child may or may not become a very good user of assistive technology.

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Additional Resources for Parents:

Family Guide to Assistive Technology

Sources for Assistive Technology Grants for Parents

Digital Toolbox Guide for Parents