Assistive Technology

The Boise School District Assistive Technology team is a diverse group of professionals offering motor, vision, speech, language and curriculum assistance integrated with educational technology.  The team is comprised of speech language pathologists, physical and occupational therapists, and a teacher for the visually impaired. 

The team serves all students from preschool to high school in the Boise District that exhibit needs for these services.  Support is offered to teachers and students through observation, assessment, recommendations, assistance with implementation of ideas and equipment, and follow-up.  This support enables students with disabilities to participate in their educational program with equipment ranging from low tech to high tech.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) falls under the Assistive Technologyumbrella.  AAC is used by individuals whose communication is inadequate to meet their varied communication needs.  In addition to the supports listed above, the team helps students be successful communicators by trying different communication devices and obtaining device funding.
  • Assistive technology device means any item, piece of equipment, or product system – whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized – that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a student with disabilities.
  • Assistive technology assessment will provide additional information to determine if a student will need special education, related services, or supplementary aids and services to enable that student to be educated in the least restrictive environment.
  • Assistive technology service means any service that directly assists a student with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.
  • Augmentative and alternative communication is an area of clinical practice that attempts to compensate (either temporarily or permanently) for the impairment and disability patterns of individuals with severe expressive communication disorders (i.e., the severely speech-language and writing impaired).  (ASHA, 1989, P.107) AAC interventions should always be multi modal in nature, that is, they should “utilize the individual’s full communication capabilities, including any residual speech or vocalization, gestures, signs, and aided communication.”  The use of gestural communication (including for example, facial expressions, eye gaze, and body postures, in addition to hand gestures) is within the overall definition of AAC.