Despite the fact that there are thousands of things that qualify as an AT device, there still is some confusion about what AT is. The definition in Federal Law states:
An assistive technology device is defined 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 a child with a disability.”
To meet these needs and assist the staff of Minneapolis Public Schools to provide the appropriate AT for students and training for staff, the Assistive Technology Center staff is available to help throughout the district to meet the needs of Special Education students from birth the age of 21 years. This age range is defined by Federal law.
Devices can be special speech generating machines, called augmentative communication systems, which produce auditory speech for students who have limitations in their ability to speak. But a communication system can be as simple as objects. Pictured here are some of the common objects that are used to communicate things such as music, food, ball, and bus. After the student learns to use objects, they are then introduced to pictures, symbols, and words as their skills increase.