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Assistive Technology for Students with Disabilities

An assistive technology device means 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. Such term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted or the replacement of a surgically implanted device.

The goal of assistive technology is to facilitate success and independence for students with disabilities while they work toward their academic, social, communication, occupational, and recreational goals. By addressing the students’ unique needs, assistive technology can reduce barriers to learning; assist students in progressing in their educational program; provide equitable access to the State’s learning standards; and provide students with independence as they participate and progress along with their peers while in school and during post-school living, learning and working. Additionally, assistive technology supports increased social and environmental access, completion of everyday tasks and can enhance an individual’s overall quality of life.

Questions regarding assistive technology may be directed to the Special Education Policy Unit at (518) 473-2878 or to

Policy Brief-Assistive Technology for Students with Disabilities

The Assistive Technology for Students with Disabilities Policy Brief was developed by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to assist school personnel in the consideration, assessment, recommendation, and implementation of assistive technology for students with disabilities. This policy brief should be used in conjunction with the guidance provided in NYSED’s webcast on assistive technology for students with disabilities in New York State and the Assistive Technology Consideration Checklist.