Assistive Technology Services
However, devices, whether hardware, apps, or combinations of the two, are only the tools. There is still the question of how to operate the tool (operational competence), and how to use the tool effectively or efficiently (functional competence), or when and why to choose one tool or another (strategic competence). Moreover, technology that is out there but beyond the knowledge or ability of the person with disabilities to find, acquire, or afford is not useful technology. Believing that it took more than the existence of devices, the Tech Act of 1988 established systems in each state to provide AT services. These services were defined to be:
- Evaluation of the individual's needs for AT
- Purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of AT
- Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing the AT
- Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with AT
- Training or technical assistance for the individual, or, where appropriate, the individual's family
- Training or technical assistance for professionals working with the individual
The law is still in effect today, having been renewed three times, the most recently in 2004.
Visit the Illinois Assistive Technology project by clicking on this link.