Assistive technology (AT) refers to any device or product that helps an individual with a disability accomplish necessary and desired learning, as well as working and living tasks. AT such as software, hardware and other devices allow individuals with disabilities to live and learn more independently. AT can be highly specialized – designed specifically for people with disabilities – or “generic” products like mobile devices (i.e. iPad).
Disability Resources and Services (DRS)
To advance Temple’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, DRS provides leadership to the University community to ensure that students with a disability have full access to the University experience. The department’s nationally-certified Assistive Technology (AT) Coordinator offers needs assessment, training, and short-term equipment loans for students interested in assistive technology. The AT Coordinator also manages the procurement and production of instructional materials in alternate formats, such as electronic text, DAISY, Braille, and audio formats.
Institute on Disabilities
The Temple Institute on Disabilities offers a range of programs providing training, support, and technical assistance for and about people with disabilities and their families. The Institute on Disabilities’ Assistive Technology unit provides device and software demonstrations to help any student or employee (as well as members of the community at large) with a disability make a decision about assistive technology that meets their needs. Equipment loans are also available, so devices can be tried out in the environment(s) in which they will be used. Short-term loans are available in certain circumstances, for example when an individual’s device is out for repair.
Full assessments and training on technology are available on a fee-for-service basis. The Institute can also provide guest lectures to promote the use of assistive technology, environmental and pedagogical universal design, and to help people understand the importance of accessible instructional materials.
The staff of the AT unit includes individuals with disabilities or family members of individuals with disabilities who use AT every day. The staff has appropriate, nationally-recognized credentials, such as the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.