View the AT Tools in Schools document to learn about commonly used assistive technology in the classroom.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states that assistive technology (AT) must be considered for every child having an individualized education program (IEP). Under IDEA, AT can be special education (specially designed instruction), a related service, or supplementary aides and services so it can appear in the IEP in a variety of ways. While AT is applicable to persons of all ages and in all environments, in education the key questions to ask are, "What is it that the student needs to do in the educational program that he/she isn't able to do because of the disability?" and secondly, "Are there any AT devices or services that might be enable the child to meet the goal?" The questions are easy. Getting to the answers is more challenging.

Assistive technology (AT) 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 the functional capabilities of a student with a disability". Devices can range from as simple as a pencil grip or fat crayon to a complex communication device.

An AT service is any service that directly assists a student with a disability with the assessment selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. Services include training for teachers, paraprofessionals, the students, and others who might need to use the device in the student's environment including the parents where appropriate.

Consider Assistive Technology

  • Consideration is meant to be accomplished within the context of the IEP meeting.
  • AT consideration is meant to be short, accomplished in approximately 20 minutes or less
  • At least one member of the IEP team should be knowledgeable about AT

If the IEP team cannot reach consensus or if the team decides that they lack the expertise to have a thoughtful discussion about AT, an AT consultation should be triggered. The Idaho Assistive Technology Project (IATP) can provide AT consultations at no charge to schools and families.

AT School Based Services


  1. Future Training Opportunities
    Register to receive emails about future training opportunities including in-person training events taking place next summer in Boise, CDA, and Idaho Falls.
  2. Phonological Awareness
    This training analyzes current research and best practice in phonological awareness and Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Participants will leave with a more in-depth understanding of how to support children with complex communication needs while developing their emergent literacy skills. The presentation will also examine the ways to build a phonological awareness program utilizing various AAC systems or tools.
  3. Join a statewide professional learning community (PLC) for AAC
    Collaborate with Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) across the state of Idaho and improve skillset when working with children with complex communication needs.
    Expectations when joining this group include:
    · Participants need to attend at least 5 of the 6 monthly, one hour web meetings.
    · Participants are expected to actively collaborate in the meetings by sharing ideas, stories, and knowledge of AAC experiences.
    · Participants will identify a case study in their own practice to develop an AAC goal, implement strategies learned, collect data, and track progress.
    · Two PLC sessions are offered the second Monday of each month from October through March.
    Contact Dan Dyer to be placed on the list for the next PLC.
  4. Cracking the AAC Code Learning Modules
    Learn all about AAC by viewing the Cracking the AAC Code modules. These modules can also be taken for PD credit through the University of Idaho. The modules lay a foundation for understanding AAC including identifying types of AAC and who might benefit from them. The AAC Evaluation process including team members, tests and measures and developing goals are also included. Case studies of 3 different children who use AAC are included.
    Module 1: Intro to AAC
    Module 2: Low Tech AAC
    Module 3: High Tech AAC
    Module 4: Communication Partners
    Module 5: Literacy, UDL, and AAC
  5. AAC Learning modules for para-professionals are available!
    Watch one (or both) depending on your skill level.
    AAC Basics
    Implementing AAC (Advanced)
  6. Turning the Page: Shared Reading Using AAC
    This training analyzes current research and best practice in shared reading and Augmentative and Alternative Communication.
  7. Implementation Strategies
    This training teaches you about building communication and learning through AAC in the classroom.
  8. Communication Apps
    This training details info on finding and using apps for AAC.
  9. Implementing Tangible Symbols for Everyday Communication

Watch AT in the Workplace to learn about assistive technology available to assist people with disabilities in the workplace.

Watch AT is in the Math Webinar to learn about the AT continuum and examples of low/no tech, mid tech and high tech tools for math.

View this webinar to learn how to set positioning and mobility goals with your child or student, evaluate and match assistive technology to their needs, and lean about commonly used positioning and mobility assistive technology.

Age-Appropriate Materials Webinar discusses age-appropriate materials for secondary students with significant disabilities.

Assistive-Technology Resources


Assistive technology demonstration and lending centers are located across the state of Idaho. Each center includes equipment for persons with sensory impairments, cognitive impairments, and physical disabilities, which include aids for recreational activities, daily living, educational, vocational and personal care aids. All equipment available to borrow - or see a demonstration of - is listed on the website. To set-up an appointment or request to borrow equipment please contact your local AT lending center.

Contact Us

Janice Carson

Director and AEM State Lead
Idaho Assistive Technology Project
University of Idaho Center on Disabilities and Human Development
1187 Alturas Drive, Moscow, ID 83843

Dan Dyer

Education Coordinator
Idaho Assistive Technology
Resource Center - Coeur d'Alene
1031 N. Academic Way, Room 130D, Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

sde Idaho Assistive Technology Project
Center on Disabilities and Human Development
1187 Alturas Dr.
Moscow, ID 83843