Building an Initial Information Base: Assistive Technology Funding Resources for School-Aged Students with Disabilities

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Due in large part to the 1997 amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), individualized education program (EP) teams increasingly are identifying assistive technology (AT) for students with disabilities to ensure the provision of free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). Though this law requires that AT must be considered when developing the EEP of a student with a disability, the high costs of AT devices and services may lead some IEP teams to conclude that such technology is not accessible.

IDEA remains the primary funding source for assistive technology that is identified as an educational necessity. However because funding of AT devices and services through IDEA remains limited, school administrators, parents, and IEP team members need information on other funding resources. Alternative options and guidelines for accessing these possible additional funding resources often are not well known by school professionals. This article provides an overview of several AT funding resources, notes basic requirements for eligibility, and offers suggestions for making successful claims.

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