Assistive Technology (AT)

National Public Website on Assistive Technology
This website was created in response to the Assistive Technology Act call for a national website addressing AT. It has a searchable listing of over 22,000 assistive devices that address a wide range of functions and disabilities. Very helpful site for getting ideas on different types of technology available to persons with disabilities.

Techmatrix
This site contains an easy to use tool for finding and comparing different Assistive Technology devices. Go to the Search Box and then click on the advanced search options that let you set search criteria. Once you have chosen what you would like to search for click on Products or Research. A very easy to read and understand chart is displayed which tells you the name of the device and the features it contains. You can compare selected devices or all of them. You can click on the device itself and it will give you a brief description of the product, cost range and what grade level it is intended for. The site also has a wide variety of research articles on the use of technology in the area of special education.

Texas Assistive Technology Network
This is the state sponsored site for assistive technology in education for the state of Texas. It has some useful training modules that includes reading and writing AT. The modules provide PowerPoint slides, presenter notes and related handouts.

AWESOME LIBRARY
This site claims that it "organizes the Web with 37,000 carefully reviewed resources, including the top 5 percent in education." It allows you to download a free talking internet browser toolbar that will convert the web text to speech (http://www.awesomelibrary.org/Awesome_Talking_Library.html ). It also has easy to follow links to a wide range of educational sites. According to the site:
"In order to be included in the Awesome Library, resources need to meet all of the standards below.

- Only child-safe links
- Useful for teachers, students ("kids" or "teens"), parents, or librarians
- "Real Stuff" (Actual documents, projects, pictures, and discussion groups)
- Current
- Load quickly
- Small percentage of "dead" links
- Best version available"

Assistive Technology Training Online
This site is a good source for using AT in the elementary classroom. The "AT Basics" and "Tutorials" sections are the most beneficial. AT Basics gives an introduction to assistive technology including laws associated with the use of AT and adaptations available for computers to meet students' needs. Tutorials are offered for many devices students may be using your classroom. The tutorials offer information about the product and step by step instructions (pictures, documents or videos) on how to use the devices.

CITEd
Has free webinars on differentiating instruction and a Research Center section with links to free articles on the use of technology in special education. Under the "Learn Center," the Teacher link goes to some worthwhile technology resources.

WATI
The best feature on this website is the WATI Assessment. To access this do the following:
Supports > Free Publications>Scroll Down to "Other Material" > Click on "WATI Assessment"
This assessment allows you to evaluate a student's need for assistive technology by providing an entire step by step packet which includes how to determine if a student would benefit from AT and assessments to determine what to look for in AT devices for the particular student being assessed. This is a very thorough and helpful assessment in guiding you to make a good decision for assistive technology. The resource list is also helpful (found under the Links tab).

National Assistive Technology Research Institute
This site offers an "Assistive Technology Planner" for teachers, families and administrators. To access the planner from the home page click on "Assistive Technology Planner" and then scroll down to choose "For Teachers". The first bullet, "AT Implementation Form," helps organize the important aspects of implementing Assistive Technology for a student. The parts I like most are the School and Home Implementation sections. These sections allow you to list what IEP goals are being met, the curriculum in which is being addressed, who is responsible for monitoring/assisting the student and what Assistive technology device was used to accomplish the goal and if any customized settings were used. By using this worksheet both at school and at home it allows the teacher and the parents to be on the same page and work together to meet the needs of the student. The link to "Assistive Technology Information and Resources" also has some valuable information and links.

New York Institute of Special Education-Blindness Resource
This is a fantastic site for anyone wanting to know about visual loss or blindness. Easy to navigate with tons of links to information on Braille, different eye conditions, research, and resources.

Trace Center
The Trace Center is based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is funded by agencies such as The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and the National Science Foundation as well as many other agencies. The Trace Center works to address the needs of those who are nonspeaking with severe disabilities. Currently, the Trace Center is working on helping make the internet more accessible to those with severe disabilities. The website also has current research being conducted available to users as well as a resources and tools link that many will find helpful.

Cast: Center for Applied Special Technology
This is site is based on UDL (Universal Design for Learning). The “UDL Book Builder” under Learning Tools leads you to a great site that allows students create and edit books. To access most of the sites you need to create a login, however this is free to do! The “Public Library Books” are books that can be downloaded and printed. The best feature under the “public library books” is that a programmed voice can read you the book as a text option when the words are highlighted. Each book has suggested grade levels too! This site is a great source for information and resources on UDL.

Institute on Disabilities
Temple University sponsors the Pennsylvania Initiative on Assistive Technology. The site has links to information on PA assistive technology initiatives and a listing of services provided. There is link to the PA Assistive Technology device lending library which may require a small fee to access materials in the future due to cuts in funding. Links to used equipment are also featured on this site.

Infinitec
This is a very user-friendly site that provides an overview of AAC use broken down into categories of Live, Learn, Play, and Work. For each category there are subcategories with written explanations and links to other resources. Great for basic information and easy navigation.