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Ensuring Equal Access to Technology: Challenges of Providing Assistive Technology Service for Individuals with Disabilities

Ensuring Equal Access to Technology: Challenges of Providing Assistive Technology Service for Individuals with Disabilities
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Author(s): Hwa Lee (Bradley University, USA) and In Lee (Western Illinois University, USA)
Copyright: 2007
Pages: 1
Source title: Managing Worldwide Operations and Communications with Information Technology
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-929-8.ch343
ISBN13: 9781599049298
EISBN13: 9781466665378

Abstract

With the passages of landmark laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), equal access to technology for all individuals regardless of their abilities or disabilities has been getting increasing attention in the field of education and rehabilitation. The Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act (Tech Act, 1988), and the Public Law 105-17 the IDEA amendments of 1997, define assistive technology (AT) device as any item, piece of equipment, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability (IDEA 1997). AT devices are typically categorized as no technology, low technology, medium technology, or high technology depending on the existence and level of sophistication in the included electronic components. An AT item can be as low-tech as the Dycem mat, which is a non-slippery material used to prevent objects from tipping or slipping, or as high-tech as the Pathfinder which is a highly sophisticated communication device. AT devices can also be classified into a number of categories based on how they assist individuals in meeting the tasks that are demanded by different environmental settings (i.e., computer access aids, communication aids, daily living aids, education and learning aids).

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