Further, from the many types of specialized devices, it can be seen that different capabilities require different forms of AT to improve, maintain and increase (Gillespie, Best & ONeill, 2012).
The approximate number of students using AT in K-12 classrooms in North East Ohio is 150,000 (Carlson, 2005). The number of persons using AT in schools is increasing mainly because making AT accessible to them is a legal requirement. Every child or student is mandated to receive equal learning opportunities regardless of their disabilities of functional capabilities. To this end, more users of AT are enrolled in schools. Then, the effectiveness of AT is also an encouraging factor that leads more parents and guardians to enroll students in schools. Further, the funding of AT is primarily placed on school districts by federal law, which makes it more accessible to the growing number of students in need of them.
It is recognized that disabilities will not just go away or get cured like most ailments. In fulfilling the mandate of availing equal opportunities to every citizen, the federal government acknowledges that persons with disabilities can use ATs to compensate certain disabilities, work around them and even leverage their strong points (Purcell & Grant, 2005). Therefore, the access to AT for persons with disabilities is mandated because AT will facilitate their endeavors towards becoming more independent, be it at home, school, work or throughout life. AT further helps persons with disabilities to lead healthy and productive lives. The law requiring persons with disabilities to have access to AT is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), revised in 1997 and 2004. It mandates that all children under special education must have their AT requirements considered by the respective school districts. It is crucial for special education teachers to write the device and a plan for use in the IEP because it will ...Show more