On January 22, 2024, the United States Department of Education (“USDOE”) issued a Dear Colleague Letter regarding supporting students with disabilities who require assistive technology (“AT”) in order to receive meaningful access to their education. In conjunction with the Dear Colleague Letter, the USDOE also released a guidance document, Myths and Facts Surrounding Assistive Technology Devices and Services.
In the Dear Colleague Letter, the USDOE emphasizes the importance of assistive technology in transforming education and reducing barriers in equity and accessibility. The guidance document provides more in-depth information with the aim of increasing understanding of the IDEA’s requirements regarding AT devices and services and dispels common misconceptions regarding AT devices. It is a helpful resource that discusses how AT devices allow children with disabilities to improve confidence, develop communication skills, participate in activities, access and understand course content, and more fully engage in the educational process, while simultaneously providing an important overview of the responsibilities assigned to schools by the IDEA related to AT devices. As the guidance document notes, AT devices should be included in all aspects of the students’ education programming and planning, including transition planning, state assessments, and across academic as well as non-academic environments.Continue Reading Department of Education Dear Colleague Letter Provides Updated AT Device Guidance