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Assistive Technology
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Assistive Technology



The Assistive Technology Team of Placer County Office of Education is comprised of professionals from multiple disciplines including teachers, augmentative alternative education specialists (SLP's) speech-language pathology assistant, occupational therapist and orthopedic impairment specialists. The Assistive Technology team provides collaborative assistance to schools, students, and members of the IEP team. Assistive Technology is federally mandated for all students with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) by requiring the IEP teams to consider the student's needs for assistive technology devices and services in order to ensure a Free and Appropriate Public Education. 

The Assistive Technology Team works to integrate with other services that the student receives.  Training and support to ensure that AT services are effectively integrated into the student's curriculum may be provided by any member of the IEP team.

Assistive Technology or Adaptive Technology (AT) is an umbrella term that includes assistive, adaptive and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities and also includes the process used in selecting, locating and using them.  AT includes the following:  AT for Educational Productivity, Specialized Orthopedic Services for the Orthopedically Impaired or Physical or Health Impairment (OI/PHI), and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).​


​What is AT for Educational Productivity?

​​The purpose of AT for Educational Productivity is to assist the team in identifying specific supports to enable the student to maximize their access to the general and special education curriculum. Specialized Orthopedic Services for the Orthopedic Impaired or Physical or Health Impairment (OI/PHI) are under this category.  The following are examples of Assistive Technology:​


  • Pencil grips
  • Slant boards
  • Page ups


  • Books on tape/CD/MP3
  • Keyguards

High Technology

  • Word processing devices
  • Adaptive computer access— adaptive keyboards, joy sticks, touch screens, etc.
  • Software: speech to text, word prediction
  • Access to curricular materials: Bookshare, ebooks

Examples of Supportive Equipment

  • Adaptive desks/tables
  • Adaptive chairs
  • Transfer boards
  • Toileting equipment

These recommendations are made in collaboration with Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists.

Service options, supportive equipment and assistive technology recommendations depend upon the identified needs of each student. Recommendations are reviewed, discussed and agreed upon by the IEP team.

What is Augmentative and Alternative Communication?​

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) includes all forms of communication (other than oral speech) that is used to express thoughts, needs, wants and ideas.  We all use AAC when we make facial expressions or gestures, use symbols or pictures, or write.

People with severe speech or language difficulties rely on AAC to supplement existing speech or replace speech that is not functional. Special augmentative supports such as picture and symbol communication boards and electronic devices, can help people express themselves.  These devices can increase a person’s social interaction, school performance and feelings of self-worth.

AAC users should not stop using speech if they are able to do so. The AAC supports and devices are used to enhance communication, not replace speech.

What do PCOE AAC services provide?

PCOE provides specialized Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) services directed toward developing functional communication such as:

  • Resources
  • Evaluation
  • Equipment access
  • Programming
  • Implementation instruction for educational teams and the individuals they support​




Students are taught in district general education settings, charter school programs, district special education programs, county special education programs, Home Hospital Instruction (HHI), or in the PCOE Regional DHH program.​​​​​


PCOE has a department focused on providing a wide variety of assistive technology devices to help children excel on an academic and personal level. From adaptive desks to special computer software, we have the tools your child deserves.​



PCOE offers amazing support and services for infants with disabilities. Our team works with the family to establish the proper development of their child. Our relationship-based approach guides children and parents through normal everyday activities, and ensures they're ready for the next phase of development.​

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    "One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world"​

    ​-Malala Yousafzai