Assistive Technology

Students with learning disabilities like dyslexia and dysgraphia often benefit from accommodations and modifications to support their ability to access and participate in the classroom curriculum. This may involve the use of AT (assistive technology), defined by IDEA as “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a child with a disability.”

Per IDEA law, “Each public agency must ensure that assistive technology devices or assistive technology services, or both…are made available to a child with a disability if required as a part of the child’s…special education…related services….or supplementary aids and services…” In January 2024, the U.S. Department of Education shared a letter reiterating the importance and required consideration of assistive technology devices and services whenever an IEP is being developed. They also shared a newly released National Educational Technology Plan that can be explored further here.

The updated 21st Century Assistive Technology Act took effect in June 2023. All states receive federal funding under this act to provide a variety of services across all types of disabilities, ages, and situations. Learn more about the North Carolina Assistive Technology Program and all they have to offer here.

As with any accommodations or modifications, assistive technology recommendations should not be based on the diagnosis alone. There is not a one size fits all list that will meet every child’s needs. Instead, each individual, their level of functioning, goals, and target environments must all be considered when making decisions about appropriate supports and tools.

Check out our Parent Workshops on Technology Resources for Reading & Writing! and Artificial Intelligence and Dyslexia for more technology information!

Emily Mora, M.Ed., CCC-SLP