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Assistive Technology: The New Big Thing or Not?

Posted Jan 18 2010 2:00pm

I thought that when IDEA was amended to require assistive technology in the 1997 amendments that a large explosion in gadget litigation was on the horizon. I predicted cottage industries in specific gizmos. When I learned about interactive whiteboards, I thought that many children with disabilities would benefit. Here is an example of how whiteboards can be used. This is an eSchool News article on whiteboards. Better yet, here is a video of how whiteboards (a combination of chalkboards, the internet and some kind of Cajun magic) work. There is even a federally funded center on Technology and Disabilities.

As often is the case, however, my crystal ball was a bit,... er foggy. There have been some developments but very little caselaw. I'm not sure why.

No Technology in BrightonImage by Sammy0716 via Flickr


I just came across a study in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy that concludes that assistive technology is a more effective intervention than many others. An abstract of the study may be reviewed here. Unfortunately, one must "purchase" the entire study. If any of you do purchase it, please consider recycling it to me if that is not an intellectual property law violation. I'd like to read it.

In any event, what has been your experience with AT? Is it being used? Is it working? Am I just jonesing for a fight for no good reason? Has there been any litigation out there?


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