Assistive technology (AT) is the use of equipment to help individuals with limitations perform everyday tasks. When a person is limited in his or her abilities, assistive equipment can help that individual maintain an independent life.
The Tech Act Legislation (P.L.100-407), which has been adopted in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), defines an assistive technology device 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 individuals with disabilities. [20 U.S.C. Chapter 33, Section 1401 (25)].
This definition is broad and includes a range of devices from low technology items (reachers, built-up levers, Velcro) to high technology items (switches, computers and environmental control units), as well as software. Under IDEA the legal definition of assistive technology service is any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.[20 U.S.C. Chapter 33, Section 1401 (26)]
Specifically, assistive technology services include: