What is Assistive Technology
Under current federal law (Individuals with Disabilities Education-IDEA), “Assistive Technology services and the services necessary to help a child select, acquire, or use an assistive technology device are made available if required as part of the child’s special education or related services. 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 the functional capabilities of a child with a disability.” The term Augmentative Alternative Communication, or AAC, includes all forms of communication, other than oral speech, that are used to express thoughts, needs, wants and ideas.
Assistive Technology falls along a continuum from no-tech, light/low-tech, to high tech devices that support students’ educational needs, communication, and access to their educational environment.
Who is on the team?
Jeff Adams, MEd., NCCSE Program Specialist of Assistive Technology
Jeff Adams is an Assistive Technology Specialist for the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education. As an Assistive Technology Specialist, he helps provide assistive technology consultations, assessments, and hardware/software trainings to students grades Pre K-12. He is also responsible for presenting and facilitating assistive technology trainings for parents and teachers. Jeff has a Masters degree in Educational Technology and received an Assistive Technology Certificate through Cal State Northridge.
Denise Hernandez, MEd., NCCSE Program Specialist of Assistive Technology
Denise Hernandez is an Assistive Technology Specialist for the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education. She supports IEP teams in their efforts to determine if the use of assistive technology devices and/or services is necessary for a student to be successful in his/her educational program. She has a Masters Degree in Education and received an Assistive Technology Certificate through Cal State Northridge.
Dawn Shirvanian, M.A., CCC-SLP, NCCSE Program Specialist of Assistive Technology
Dawn Shirvanian is an Assistive Technology Specialist for the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education. Her specific area of specialty is Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). She supports IEP teams in assessment, consultation/training, and implementation of AAC for students to better access their educational environment and communicate more effectively. She has a Masters Degree in Speech-Language Pathology and received an Assistive Technology Certificate through Cal State Northridge.
Lydia Schnitta, B.A., SLPA, NCCSE Assistive Technology
As part of the comprehensive Assistive Technology team, Lydia provides support to IEP teams across the SELPA who are challenged with implementing Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC) with students. She supports students, parents, and teachers by providing consultation, training, and technical support for implementation of AAC devices. Additionally, Lydia adapts assistive technology equipment to meet individual student needs. Utilizing accessibility features on iOS devices is one of her many areas of strength.
Assistive Technology Links and Resources