Sunday, February 3, 2013

Is providing assistive technology and unfair advantage?

Assistive technology is not a new concept. It came to the forefront in our primary federal special education law - IDEA as well as the civil rights statute - the Rehabilitation Act (section 504). Later came the Tech Act which reinforced all of this. In spite of all of the legislative support for the use of assistive technologies (low and high tech), there remains a culture which views these types of support as an unfair advantage. 

IDEA 2004 defines assistive technology 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 the functional capabilities of children with disabilities. 

When used correctly, it provides the necessary access to those activities each of us takes for granted. It does not always have to cost a lot but at times does. Having the right access changes our quality of life. Our freedom of movement, engagement and ability to access our education should not be challenge in a way which diminishes our rights and compartmentalizes what we are able to do. This video addresses the need for assistive technology. 

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