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Assistive Technology

Amy Ratajczak, MA, CCC/SLP
"It's not our disabilities, it's our abilities that count." - Chris Burke
 I am a licensed speech language pathologist servicing our students at the middle and high schools.  My area of specialty is Augmentative and Alternative Communication and Assistive Technology.  What is AAC?  Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) are the words used to describe extra ways of helping people who find it hard to communicate by speech or writing.  AAC helps them to communicate more easily.  Some of my students use speech generating devices, like computers or tablets, to help them communicate more appropriately and effectively with the peers and adults in their social network.
I am also the Assistive Technology Team Leader for the Clarence Central School District.  Assistive Technology is "any item, piece of equipment or product system...that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities"  PL 108-446 Sec. 602(1).  There are many students in this district who benefit from a little extra help accessing their curriculum via technology in their educational settings.  AT can be low tech (pencil grips, larger font) to high tech (computers with specialized software, iPads).  The evaluation process is ongoing as curriculum and tools change with time.