AT Terminology

Accommodation

changes to the educational program in which the result of the task remains the same, but the means by which the student accomplishes the task is different.

Adaptation

a change to the typical presentation or demonstration of a skill or concept without changing what is being presented in the instruction or knowledge demonstrated.

Alternate input method to access the computer

this represents physical and possibly verbal means of getting information into a computer. Students who have a difficult time with typical typing on a standard keyboard and/or using a standard mouse on a desktop or laptop computer may use one of these methods. Some examples of alternative input methods are by having a keyboard arrangement on the monitor (onscreen keyboard) that is pointed to or clicked on, an external enlarged keyboard with bigger keys, using a single switch to activate a scanning array which sends key input information to the computer, or using their voice to talk to the computer.

Assistive features

student-centered, environmentally useful, and task-focused for the student.

Assistive technology (AT)

tools that focus on increasing, maintaining, or improving the functional capabilities of a child with a disability.

Assistive technology assessment

is a process conducted by a team to identify tools and strategies that address a student's specific needs.

Assistive technology device

means 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 the functional capabilities of a child with a disability.

Assistive technology service

means any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. This service includes, the evaluation of the child in the customary environment, the acquisition of, repair of, customizing of, replacing of the device, as well as the coordination of other services in the child's educational environment.

Ataxic cerebral palsy

students with ataxic cerebral palsy may appear to be very shaky and have an uneven gate as they walk. They have poor muscle tone and have problems with coordinating both large and small group muscles.

Athetoid cerebral palsy

may appear as though the student moves constantly. They may have a mixture of both low and high muscle tone. Quadriplegic means that all 4 limbs, arms and legs are affected.

ATSTARAssessment Process

The Assistive Technology Assessment process developed by ATSTAR and conveyed in the ATSTARAssessment Process training course. The six steps in this process include: Building the Student Team, Framing the Question, Collecting Information, Analyzing Information, Generating Solutions, and Selecting Solutions.

Augmentative communication

the strategies and tools that may supplement or clarify the voice of a student whose speech is difficult to understand, or for a student who is unable to speak. Also referred to as AAC (Augmentative and/or Alternative Communication).

Augmentative communication devices

low, mid, or high-tech solutions for a student who has a difficult time producing intelligible speech. Typically consists of pictures and/or words that are arranged so that a student can indicate by pointing orusing eye gaze to select the messages that they are communicating. There is a wide variety of features augmentative communication devices may include, speech output being one of the most important. Other features include offering different ways for a student to physically interact to accomplish the desired activations. The speech output may be synthesized or allow for recording of human speech, some offer both. Some products require a static paper display and some have a computerized monitor display of pictures, symbols, text, or a combination of these.

Communication device

low, mid, or high-tech solutions for a student who has a difficult time producing intelligible speech. Communication messages are presented to the student through a visual or auditory display of pictures or words.

Computer with word prediction

computer with a software applications that may be an assist to letter-by-letter keyboard typing. As a student begins to type a word, a list of possible words that are being typed appear on the display. These application work transparently with any word processing software. They will display a list of words based on the first few letters typed by the student. The student may choose their word from the list or continue to type.Depending upon the application, the student may create one sentence at a time using the word prediction application and then insert the sentence into the word processing application, or may work directly in the word processing application, selecting each word. These applications were originally created to cut down on the number of keystrokes for students with physical disabilities, however, they have been expanded in their use to support students with learning disabilities in their written expression. Some features that you may find in word prediction programs include speech, grammar support, phonetic misspelling assistance, and customizable vocabularies.

Cyclical

occurring in a cycle. Steps in a process which follow one another, however at any point the process may connect back to a previous step.

District's Special Ed lending service

school districts may have a library of assistive technology devices and software for teams to borrow to try with their student(s). Explore this as an option. Other options for using AT for trials may be to download software for free trial periods from the manufacturer web sites, rent-to-buy programs from the manufacturer, a state-wide lending library, and a private non-profit organizations.

Early Childhood class

a public school program for students with disabilities who are young in chronological age (typically ages 3 to 5 years old).

Electronic keyboarding

the processing of writing by using some type of technology to produce text. This can be done with a variety of assistive devices such as a portable word processor, a computer with word processing, or a hand-held personal digital assistant.

Communication System

This is a communication device that allows the user to change the vocabulary options that he/she can see and easily navigate between the different displays.

Environmental Modification

when a problem is resolved by a change in the environment.

Environmentally useful

appropriate and useful within the environments in which the student is expected to use it with the supports available in those environments.

Expanded team

all the team members who come together to discuss and provide AT services to a student with disabilities. The team may include the student, their family/primary caregivers, educational and therapy staff, as well as others with expertise in AT.

Evaluation

in relation to assistive technology is a functional evaluation done in the student's customary environments which are the environments in which the student will use the AT.

FM system

this type of assistive technology solution is for transmitting sound to students who are hard of hearing. In the typical FM system, the student wears a hearing aid which receives sound from the speaker's microphone.

Framed question

a sentence or paragraph written about a student that considers the student, the tasks and the environments and makes a statement about the possible need for Assistive Technology for a student. This statement guides the AT assessment process for that student at that time.

Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

FAPE is an educational right of children with disabilities in the United States that is guaranteed by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Functional Evaluation

the purpose is to determine the needs of the student within their customary environments

GEH teacher

General Education History teacher

GEM teacher

General Education Math teacher

High-tech solutions

High-end devices, such as those using the full power of a computer processor and software, sometimes in the form of a voice-output communication aid. For example: A voice output device with dynamic display is a type of high tech communication device. The dynamic display feature allows for the device to change the picture display presented to the student on the device's monitor upon activation. These systems can be programmed to meet the individual message needs of the student. These systems typically provide the voice output with digitized speech, but may offer the option of recording speech. Products that fit this description may give students access to hundreds of messages.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

IDEA is a federal law that requires schools to serve the educational needs of eligible students with disabilities.

Individual Education Program (IEP)

is the instructional program developed to meet the unique educational needs of a student with a disability.

IEP Team

is a group of individuals composed of: the parents of a child with a disability; at least one general education teacher (if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment); at least one special education teacher; a representative of the local educational agency who is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities, is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum, and is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the local educational agency; an individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results; at the discretion of the parent or the agency, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise; and whenever appropriate, the child with a disability.

Input methods/strategies

the term used to think about how a student will write, speak, or access a computer or other assistive technology device.This is the human-to-technology interface connection. Students might touch keys, use a mouse to point and click on keys, or activate keys on a scanning array using a switch.

Instructional adaptation

a change to the typical presentation of a skill or concept without changing what is being presented in the instruction.

Instructional strategy

an approach to teaching a skill or concept, or how it is taught.

Instructional technology (IT)

technology tools that are used in the instructional process for many or all students to impact learning outcomes.

Iterative process

an on-going cycle, not a single event, which allows you to revisit any part of the cycle or process at any time.

Keyboarding skills

the means by which a student types on the computer or portable word processor's keyboard. Keyboarding skills use strategic placement of the hands on the keys (for ten-fingered typists, this would be the "home row"). Keyboarding skills may be a part of a school district's curriculum at any grade level. Keyboarding abilities will impact a student's independence, speed, and capability of using a portable word processor or computer. There are software products for teaching keyboarding skills. Some portable word processors have a typing tutor as a feature.

Learning disability

federal regulations define a learning disability as a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia.

Learning styles

innate ways of learning that vary from person to person, which may include categories such as spatial visual, kinetic or movement, language-oriented, and logical/analytical learners. Another learning styles theory includes seven multiple intelligences: Verbal/Linguistic, Logical/Mathematical, Visual/Spatial, Music/Rhythmic, Body/Kinesthetic, Interpersonal, and Intrapersonal.

Low-tech communication device

a low-tech communication device may be a simple technology solution for a student who has a difficult time producing intelligible speech. It may be a product that is a switch that speaks a message out loud, or it may be a series of pictures or words from which the student chooses their communication message from a display which then speaks out loud. Typically these products have a static paper display and a human voice recorded that talks when physically activated by the student via a switch or direct selection. Products that fit this description may give students access to 1 to 45 keys for messages. They may also have more messages available through the use of levels.

Low-tech solutions

very simple tools, such as lined paper and picture cards.

LRE

Least Restrictive Environment

Math scratch pad software

computer application that may be an assist to students who struggle with printing math facts or math problems on paper. The software allows for correct placement of the math problem and positioning of the "work" of math (i.e. carriers, remainders). Some features of this software include speech output, enlarged letters, calculator, and allowing "worksheets" to be created that can display one or more problems depending on the needs of the student.

Mid-tech solutions

typically small and portable, simple to program and use.

Modifications

significant change to the original task or information presented.

Multidisciplinary team

a group of service providers from different perspectives/disciplines (i.e., education, psychology, speech/language, occupational therapy, physical therapy) who work together to serve the needs of a student.

Multimedia tools

hardware and software devices that use images and sound to facilitate communication.

Multiple disabilities

students with more than one disability. Educational term to describe a student who may have both a physical and cognitive disability.

Output forms

this is the result of use of the assistive technology solution. It can be visual, auditory or tactual. Text, speech, Braille, auditory feedback for word processing, large print, amount of text on page, color of text, and/or background are all different types of output. Any one or more of these may be more effective than others based on the student's abilities, needs, and the expectation from the task.

Paper communication board

a low to mid-tech solution for a student who has a difficult time producing intelligible speech. Typically consists of pictures and/or words that are arranged so the student can indicate by pointing or eye gazing to the messages that they are communicating. Using this type of communication device, the student needs to be talking with someone who is physically near and can see the pictures or words. A paper communication board does not speak out loud.

Pencil grip

a physical modification done to a writing tool such as a pencil or pen. It may be a cushion or built-up surface to the portion of the tool where the student puts their fingers and knuckles. It may also have indentations to guide proper placement of the fingers and knuckles.

Picture communication symbols

Pictures, photographs, and/ or line drawings that are used to represent vocabulary and messages for students who have a difficult time producing intelligible speech or who are unable to speak at all. These symbols are often arranged on language boards, used individually as communication cards, or used on communication devices. Some examples of symbol sets are the PCS from Mayer Johnson, the DynaSyms from DynaVox, and the Minspeak symbols from Prentke Romich Company.

Portable spell checking device with auditory output

an assistive product that is lightweight and carried easily. Students might use this during reading and/or writing activities. The primary function of this device is to check or show proper spelling. Some products may have additional features of speech output, dictionary, or a thesaurus.

Portable word processing device

an assistive writing product that is lightweight and easily carried. The primary function of this device is to produce text from typing on a keyboard. Portable word processing devices may also have features such as spell check, dictionary, typing tutors, calendars, and speech output.

Prerequisite skills

abilities that should exist prior to attempting to learn a new skill.

Processing methods/strategies

how students process incoming information and prepare for expression, both oral and written. Auditory learners require different solutions from visual learners or tactile learners.Processing strategies are determined by the cognitive and language needs and abilities of the student, as well as their memory and attitude.

Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology Services (QIAT)

factors developed with input from hundreds of people from around the country interested in assistive technology. Based on extensive interactive work over several years, QIAT presents descriptors of quality assistive services that can serve as a guide for successful assistive technology service delivery. The quality indicators also include common errors are made during the assistive technology process. You can use these indicators as guidelines for a successful AT Assessment Process and avoid many common mistakes.

Re-authorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

in 2004 the original Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was reviewed, updated, and refunded by the federal government.

Scanner

a computer peripheral that takes an electronic image of a document or item for conversion to digital text or graphics. It may be similar in design to a photocopying machine.

Screen reading program

a computer application that takes the visual text on the screen and sends it through a speech synthesizer which then speaks that text out loud to the student. This type of technology is used with students who do not benefit from or struggle with the process of reading visually. Features of these types of programs allow for talking the text of books, web pages, software menus or any text that can be brought into an electronic format.

Self advocacy

students represent their own opinion, needs, and wants during meetings and discussions.

Self determination

students are able to make independent and effective decisions about how and when to use their assistive technology tools in a functional manner.

SETT Framework

a method to gather and then carefully consider information about the Student, the Student's customary Environments, and the Tasks that are required to be an active participant in those environments. From this information, a team can make more effective decisions about the system of Tools required to support the student in achieving those tasks. The SETT Framework is a general way to arrange information so that it can be logically and reasonably used for thinking and decision-making about the use of Assistive Technology.

Single switch-scanning program

a single switch is a product that when activated sends an electronic signal to an Assistive Technology product. That product may be one for writing, talking, playing with computer software, or operating battery-operated or electrical toys/appliances. The switch may be activated by touch, movement, sound, air flow, or as sophisticated as proximity of body heat. In any of these case, the process by which a student who uses a single switch gains access to more than one choice of an item to type, to say, or to play with, is called scanning. Through scanning, a group of choices is presented to the student through systematically highlighting those choices. These choices can be a visual or auditory presentation to the student. The student then uses their switch to activate the scanning and make their choice.

Solution Features

the functional description of a particular Assistive Technology tool in relationship to student use.

Strategy

an approach to teaching a skill or concept or how it is taught.

Student-centered

match the student's needs and abilities - able to be used adequately by the student.

Student-centered assessment process

a series of testing on one student, both formal and informal, which may include observation in the student's own environment. This assessment may be performed by a team of people who are identified to serve the student or by a school district based assessment team.

Student-centered team

the team of professionals and family members that make up a team that is focused on one particular student.

Support services

educational support services that are available for students with disabilities who qualify, such as Speech/Language Services, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Behavior Therapy.

System of solutions

a combination of AT solutions that allows a student to function the most effectively in multiple environments.

Task adaptation

a change to the task without changing what is being presented in the instruction or knowledge demonstrated.

Task-focused

able to be used by the student to do what the student is expected to do

Task modification

changes to the educational program in which the nature of a task and thus the results of the task, are significantly changed.

Teaching style

the means by which a teacher constructs their learning environment. How new information, practice opportunities, and measurement of knowledge are presented.

Text-to-speech software

software that speacks text as it is displayed on the screen.

Tools

assistive devices (low-tech, mid-tech and high-tech), strategies, and services that may be put into place as a solution for performance of a particular task(s) in a student's environment(s).

Voice output device with dynamic display

a type of high-tech communication device that may be a solution for a student who has a difficult time producing intelligible speech. The dynamic display feature allows for the computer technology of the device to change the picture display presented to the student on the device's monitor.These systems can be activated by touch, by a mouse-type pointer, or by a switch. Typically they talk out loud through a speech synthesizer, however, some products have both the human recorded speech (digitized) and the text-to-speech (synthesized). Products that fit this description may give students access to hundreds of messages.

Voice output device with 16 messages

an electronic device with synthesized speech that is programmable to make a maximum of 16 statements.

Voice recognition software

computer application by which entering text into the computer is done by the student talking to the computer.

WATI Assessment Forms

the Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative collection of detailed forms that systematically take you through the assessment process.

Word-prediction software

computer application that may be an assist to letter-by-letter keyboard typing. As a student begins to type a word, a list of possible words that are being typed appear on the display. Depending upon the application, the word is selected by typing a number or using the mouse to click on the word, either of which sends the full word and a space after the word to the word processor the student is using to produce text. These applications were originally created to cut down on the number of key-strokes for students with physical disabilities, however, they have been expanded in their use to support students with learning disabilities in their written expression. Some features that you may find in word prediction programs include speech, grammar support, phonetic misspelling assistance, and customizable vocabularies.

Word processing software with auditory output and auditory spell checking software for support with writing

computer application that is used primarily for typing and producing text. Features of this type of software application allow the computer to use a speech synthesizer, which "talks out loud" the written text through the computer's speakers. An additional feature is indicating misspelled words and the capability of the spell checker dialog box to talk. These features may be supportive to a student who struggles with the visual process of reading and written comprehension.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

A set of principles that provides for flexibility in how instructional material is presented and reduces barriers, provides accommodations, supports and challenges while maintaining high achievement standards for all students, including students with disabilities.