Support for Families is proud to house a robust Assistive Technology Lab and several AT services, all of which are free of charge. Please contact us to schedule an appointment and find out how assistive technology might help your child, client, or student.
What is Assistive Technology?
Children with disabilities sometimes need and are entitled to equipment and services in order to access a free and appropriate public education (FAPE).
Assistive technology device refers to “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.”
Assistive technology service refers to “any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.”
Assistive technology must be considered for every child as part of the IEP process.
Assistive technology can assist a student to read, write, use the computer, communicate, and play. It can include these common tools:
- FM systems
- Adapted paper and pencils
- Text-to-speech software
- Adapted books
- Communication devices
- Adapted toys
- Visual schedules
- Voice recognition software
- Adapted keyboards and mice
- Communication boards and books
- Social stories
- Smart pens
All of these tools and more can be found in our Assistive Technology Lab.
All services are free of charge. Contact us to schedule an appointment and find out how assistive technology might help your child, client, or student.
What is the Assistive Technology Lab?
The Assistive Technology Lab is a dedicated space for the exploration of assistive technology tools. The lab features a make ‘n take station, environmental control devices, dedicated computer stations and a large variety of low to high tech assistive technology tools for exploration. The lab is staffed by a certified assistive technology specialist.
Make ‘n Take Station
The lab offers a Make ‘n Take station for families and professionals to make their own low tech visual supports and communication aids. It is equipped with computers with Boardmaker and Lesson Pix, printers, paper cutters, laminators, binding machines, and Velcro. Assistance and training is provided by an AT Specialist.
Environmental Control By Voice or Switch
The lab is equipped with an Amazon Echo and devices that are compatible with Alexa. Lights, fans, and more can be controlled by voice or with an AAC device. We also have additional environmental control devices that allow for switch control of common appliances. Come explore the accessibility possibilities that are available for your home or work space.
The lab offers two dedicated computer stations that are equipped with adaptive software and hardware. Hardware includes touch screens, adaptive keyboards, joysticks, trackballs, switch access, and eye gaze control. Software includes speech-to-text, text-to-speech, age respectful reading programs, literacy software, and switch accessible activities.
What services do we provide?
We provide assistive technology (AT) consultations, an iPad Lending Program, an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) lending program, and trainings. All services are free.
Consultations are available for families and professionals who wish to learn more about assistive technology and explore low to high tech tools. Consultation appointments must be scheduled in advance with the assistive technology specialist. Translation services are available in Spanish and Cantonese for consultations.
iPad Lending Program
iPads are being used more and more in education every day. There are apps that can assist students with disabilities in academic areas such as early literacy, reading, writing, math, organization, note taking, and more. We have apps for students from preschool age through high school. A consultation appointment is required in order to borrow any equipment, and ongoing support is provided as needed.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Lending Program
Children who have difficulty communicating may need augmentative and alternative communication systems and strategies in order to communicate effectively. Thanks to the Disability Communications Fund, we are able to offer a lending program for AAC devices and systems in English, Spanish and Chinese.
Our AAC lending library includes:
Low tech: Pragmatic Organized Dynamic Display (PODD) communication books, aided language displays
Mid tech: Go Talks, Quicktalkers, Step by Steps, Talktracs
High tech: iPads with communication apps (Proloquo2Go, Touchchat with WordPower, LAMP Words for Life, and more)
A consultation appointment is required in order to borrow any equipment, and ongoing support is provided as needed. Loans are for a minimum of 60 days.
Trainings are offered on topics around assistive technology. They are provided both onsite and offsite in the community when requested. We also host trainings by experts and vendors in the field of assistive technology. Topics for trainings include:
- iPads for Communication
- Assistive Technology Lab: A Resource at Support for Families
- Assistive Technology: What is it and how do I get it?
- Aided Language Stimulation: Keep Calm and Model On
Please contact us if you are interested in attending a training at our site or to request a training at your site.