Benton-Stearns Education District Assistive Technology.
The mission of Benton-Stearns Assistive Technology Services is to expand the awareness and knowledge of assistive technology devices and services among administrators, staff, parents, students, and other related agencies.
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Amendments of 1997, the team that develops an individual education program (IEP) for a child must consider whether the child requires assistive technology devices and services. IDEA defines assistive technology in the following ways:
• - "The term '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 functional capabilities of a child with a disability."
• - "The term 'asssistive technology service' means any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition or use of an assistive technology device. Such term includes:
• - The evaluation of the needs of such child, including a functional evaluation of the child in the child’s customary environment;
• - Purchasing, leasing or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by such a child;
• - Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing of assistive technology devices;
• - Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as those associated with the existing education and rehabilitation plans and programs;
• - Training or technical assistance for such child, or where appropriate, the family of such child;
• - Training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals providing education and rehabilitation services), employers or other individuals who provide service to, employ or are otherwise substantially involved in the major functions of such a child.
The complete Assistive Technology Manual, developed by the Minnesota Department of Education was recently updated and is available through a link on our website.
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Assistive Technology Consultant