The PEAL Center
Helping Families of Children with Disabilities and Special Health Care Needs
412-281-4404 (Pittsburgh)
215-567-6143 (Philadelphia)
866-950-1040 Toll Free
412-281-4409 TTY

Help Topics

Assistice Technology (AT) & Accessible Instructional Material (AIM)

Assistive Technology (AT)
What is Assistive Technology?

"Assistive technology is any kind of technology that can be used to enhance the functional independence of a person with a disability. Often, for people with disabilities, accomplishing daily tasks such as talking with friends, going to school and work, or participating in recreational activities is a challenge. Assistive Technology (AT) devices are tools to help to overcome those challenges and enable people living with disabilities to enhance their quality of life and lead more independent lives.

Assistive technology can be anything from a simple (low-tech) device such as a magnifying glass, to a complex (high-tech) device, such as a computerized communication system. It can be big — an automated van lift for a wheelchair — or small — a grip attached to a pen or fork by Velcro. Assistive technology can also be a substitute — such as an augmentative communication device that provides vocal output for a child who cannot communicate with her voice."

From the Family Center for Technology and Disability (FCTD)

What does the law say about Assistive Technology?
Information about AT and the law, AT and IEP’s and more.
A catalog of over 1200 resources on the FCTD website. Be sure to use the Search Tools on the right-hand side of this page to find exactly what you are looking for.
Accessible Instructional Material (AIM)
What are Accessible Instructional Materials?

"Accessible instructional materials, or AIM, are materials that are designed or converted in a way that makes them usable across the widest range of student variability regardless of format (print, digital, graphic, audio, video). IDEA (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) specifically focuses on accessible formats of print instructional materials. In relation to IDEA the term AIM refers to print instructional materials that have been transformed into the specialized formats of braille, large print, audio, or digital text."

From the National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials

What does the law say about Accessible Instructional Materials?
Accessible Instructional Materials Resources

Need more information? Visit these sites for further resources.

Visit this part of the site to find the answers to these questions and more:
  • My child is struggling to read instructional materials. What should I do?
  • What are some indicators that my child might need AIM?
This interactive tool facilitates the process of decision-making around accessible instructional materials for an individual student. You can take it to your IEP meeting when discussing AIM