Assistive Technology Act of 1998

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  • 0:02 The Assistive…
  • 0:43 Origins of the Tech Act
  • 1:41 The Actual Act in 1998
  • 3:15 Lesson Summary
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Instructor: Jocelyn Cherry

Jocelyn has taught Special Education for over two decades and has three post secondary degrees all in the field of Education.

The Assistive Technology Act of 1998 forever changed assistive technology for individuals with disabilities, especially for our exceptional students. Discover in this lesson why the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 was so groundbreaking, and then test your knowledge with a quiz.

The Assistive Technology Act of 1998

The Assistive Technology Act of 1998 is also known as the Tech Act. Think of the Assistive Technology Act as a tree - deep rooted in origin, constantly growing and changing, branching out, full of leaves, and providing the coverage needed for individuals with disabilities. The Tech Act legalized state provisions for assistive technology.

An assistive technology device is any piece of equipment, device, or system used to improve or maintain the ability level of a child with a disability in the educational setting. The device can be handmade, store brought, or even a current item that has been modified.

Origins of the Tech Act

The first Tech Act was drafted and passed as a result of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Americans with Disabilities Act is the civil rights law prohibiting discrimination against a person with disabilities in areas such as employment, access to public services, public accommodations, and transportation. States are required to provide assistive technology devices to accommodate the person with a disability.

President Reagan signed the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals Act into law in 1988. The law provided federal funding to states providing financial support. In addition, the law required states to develop training programs and informational sources to educate citizens and employers in order to meet the assistive technology needs of individuals with disabilities.

The Tech Act has been re-authorized in 1994, 1998, and 2004. When a law is reauthorized, Congress has amended or added stipulations to the law adjusting to current policies, language, and educational practices.

The Actual Act in 1998

A substantial amendment for the Tech Act of 1998 was the specificity of coverage. Assistive technology services must be provided for all individuals with disabilities, this includes all ages, in all environments (pre-K centers, hospitals, private schools, K-12 public schools, postsecondary educational institutions, community living agencies, etc.).

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