Dispelling Myths Associated with Assistive Technology

By the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services 

Myths and Facts Surrounding Assistive Technology Devices and Services

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 22, 2024) – The U.S. Department of Education released guidance in support of infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities who may require assistive technology (AT) devices and services, today. 

The Offices of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and Educational Technology (OET) provided the guidance “to increase understanding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act’s (IDEA’s) requirements regarding AT devices and services, and dispel common misconceptions regarding AT, while also providing examples of the use of AT devices and services for children with disabilities,” according to a Dear Colleague Letter accompanying the AT guidance. 

The guidance, Myths and Facts Surrounding Assistive Technology Devices and Services, highlights 28 myths and facts related to AT devices and services. The guidance provides additional information and resources to support children with disabilities and identifies related requirements addressed in the IDEA. 

The department wrote the guidance to support a range of individuals including parents, early intervention service providers, special educators, general educators, related services personnel, school and district administrators, technology specialists and directors, and employees at state lead agencies and educational agencies. 

Additionally, both the Dear Colleague Letter and the AT guidance are available in Spanish.

Representatives from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) and OET will hold live sessions this week to explain the AT guidance at a meeting of the National Assistive Technology Act Technical Assistance and Training (AT3) Center, the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference and the National Future of Education Technology Conference

OSEP’s Center on Inclusive Technology and Education Systems (CITES) will offer additional resources and technical assistance on the AT guidance in the coming months. The first webinar will feature OSERS and OET leaders, Feb. 14, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. ET. Information and updates will be posted to the CITES webpage.

Today’s AT guidance coincides with the release of the 2024 National Educational Technology Plan (NETP): A Call to Action for Closing the Digital Access, Design and Use Divides.  

The 2024 NETP addresses three key divides – digital use, digital design and digital access – the department believes is limiting the transformational potential of educational technology to support teaching and learning, according to a department press release.  

Severe Discrepancy
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Last modified on February 21, 2024