After implementation of accommodations and modifications, the ongoing collection of data and analysis is necessary to determine the suitability of the technology.
Assistive Technology is a relatively new phrase first coined in 1982 by John Williams who wrote an article for the Washington Post describing a talking terminal (FCTD, 2008). Being in the infancy stage, with a meager amount of published research and an over abundance of variability in possible study participants, determining best practice can be overwhelming. To help with the task, Weigle (2008) outlines a process that will help educators and IEP teams to appropriately consider equipment and accommodations for students with disabilities. Using multiple sources, the education team gathers relevant information to make informed decisions. After implementation of accommodations and modifications, the ongoing collection of data and analysis is necessary to determine the suitability of the technology.
With a sense of urgency, The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) has partnered with the Special Education Assistive Technology (SEAT) Center at Illinois State University to produce and publish a peer-reviewed publication. The free publication, Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits (ATOB) is available on the ATIA website
If you think someone is too young for AT, then visit Tots ‘n Tech Research Institute (TnT) for up-to-date information, research, and resources about AT use with infants and toddlers. TnT is a multi-university collaboration funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
Family Center on Technology and Disabilities (FCTD). (2008). The evolution of AT: A long night’s journey into day. News and Notes, 72, 1-2.
Wiegle, C. (2008). Evidence-based practice and assistive technology: How do we know AT is effective? T/TAC Telegram, 8(1), 6-7.