Assistive technology for learning (ATL) is defined as the hardware, software, and apps/extensions used by students with physical, sensory, cognitive, speech, learning or behavioural disabilities to actively engage in learning and to achieve their individual learning goals. (Alberta Education, 2006). ATL assists students in performing functions that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to accomplish independently.
Multi-disciplinary teams for AT
Occupational therapists, psychologists, guidance counsellors, consultants, and Speech-Language Pathologists play important roles in recommending ATL and implementing solutions with students.
Like other technologies, ATL ranges from simple tools to complex systems. For example, in occupational therapy, a low-tech recommendation could be providing a pencil grip for writing, or a higher-tech recommendation might be a computer with alternate access options. In speech therapy, a low-tech communication board might be the precursor to introducing a higher tech AAC device. Psychologists, guidance counsellors, consultants and teachers make recommendations for ATL via assessments or classroom observation. Professionals support the school team to recommend and implement both low-tech and high-tech assistive technology for specific students.