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Assistive Technology 

Assistive Technology (AT) are tools that can help students with disabilities complete difficult tasks. AT can help students with reading, writing, speaking, understanding, and using classroom materials. AT is not always a high-tech device, but also includes low-tech and no-tech tools such as paper-based graphic organizers and communication books. Overall, assistive technology are tools that help students access the existing curriculum and learning environment. Assistive technology comes in various categories, including AT for communication, learning, and access. Although vision and hearing are also categories of AT, the vision and audiology teams support these.   

If you have any questions, you can contact [email protected], and someone can help answer your question.  


  • Tools that help students read, write and understand. 

  • Examples include text to speech, word prediction, graphic organizers and manipulatives. 


  • Tools that help students communicate. 

  • Examples include communication devices and paper-based communication boards. 


  • Tools that help students access classroom materials and the school. 

  • Examples include adapted chairs, gait, trainers, standers, switches, adapted utensils, and many other tools to help student success. 



During each annual IEP meeting, your child’s team will discuss the need for assistive technology tools during the AT consideration process. This discussion will include your child’s strengths and needs, the tasks that are challenging, the tools that are currently in place and if they are helping your child, and the need for potential AT tools. 

If the team decides that your child would benefit from AT tools, the school team may have the AT tools necessary to support your child or they may need help to determine which AT tools may support your child. If help is needed, your school may ask for the support of the AT team. The AT team can help the school team’s decision-making process for the most proper AT tool for your child through AT device loans, consultations, training, or comprehensive evaluations by request. 

Device Loan

  • Loaner tools provided to schools for use with the student. 

  • Provided when the school does not have the tool the student needs to access the curriculum. 


  • Collaborative decision-making process between the Assistive Technology (AT) team and school team. 

  • Includes a meeting with the school team, discussion of student needs, recommendations for AT tool, long term trial, and data collection. 


  • Comprehensive evaluation of a student's AT needs across areas.  

  • The AT team member works directly with the student to collect data and make recommendations. 


For more information on special education programs and services in DCPS, please refer to the DCPS Special Education Family Guide.