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Assistive Technology

Page history last edited by Sharon Gallagher 8 years, 7 months ago


The goal of the Assistive Technology module is to help educators becomes proficient with Standard VI of the Maryland Teacher Technology Standards:

Understand human, equity, and developmental issues surrounding the use of assistive technology to enhance student learning performance and apply that understanding to practice.

This standard requires that teachers demonstrate a familiarity with the legal issues surrounding the use of AT, including consideration of need, assessment, appropriate resource selection and implementation.

We will begin the module with an overview of the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). These principles set the stage for meeting the needs of all learners in the educational arena. UDL becomes the umbrella under which we will study the implications and uses of assistive technology to meet the specific needs of students with identified disabilities.


Module goals include the following:

  1. Identifying and analyzing assistive technology resources that accommodate individual student learning needs.
  2. Applying assistive technology to the instructional process and evaluating its impact on learners with diverse backgrounds, characteristics and abilities.
  3. Demonstrating an understanding of and an ability to apply the principles of Universal Design for Learning.
  4. Demonstrating an awareness of the federal, state and local legal implications of providing assistive technology services and devices.
  5. Developing an awareness of district-specific assessment methods.
  6. Using a collaborative process for determining appropriate tools to meet the needs of diverse learners.


Learning Sections

This module is divided into seven sections. Within each section, you will complete a variety of activities that include reading Web-based articles, independent research, watching video clips and presentations, planning learning activities, and evaluating resources.

You are responsible for completing all module activities. Refer to the grading guidelines listed below for a list of all graded assignments and their respective point values.

  • Section 1: Orientation and Introduction
    • Section Overview
    • Activity 1: Build Background Knowledge: Introduction to Universal Design Learning
    • Activity 2: Collaboration: Orientation Discussion Forum
  • Section 2: Universal Design for Learning
    • Section Overview
    • Activity 1: Build Background Knowledge: The UDL Classroom
    • Activity 2: UDL and Equity
    • Activity 3: Application of UDL Theory
    • Activity 4: UDL Review
    • Activity 5: Collaboration: UDL Discussion Forum
  • Section 3: Assistive Technology
    • Section Overview
    • Activity 1: Build Background Knowledge: Assistive Technology
    • Activity 2: Assistive Technology Discussion Forum
  • Section 4: Assistive Technology Considerations
    • Section Overview
    • Activity 1: Build Background Knowledge: Assistive Technology and the Law
    • Activity 2: Assistive Technology Consideration Process
    • Activity 3: 3-2-1 Reflection
    • Activity 4: Planning Ahead
  • Section 5: The SETT Framework
    • Section Overview
    • Activity 1: Build Background Knowledge: The SETT Framework
    • Activity 2: A Variety of Tools
    • Activity 3: Applying the SETT Framework to Student Case Study
    • Activity 4: Collaboration: The SETT Framework Discussion Forum
  • Section 6: Integrating Assistive Technology
    • Section Overview
    • Activity 1: Build Background Knowledge: Assistive Technology Tools
    • Activity 2: Technology Integration Plan
    • Activity 3: Technology Integration Discussion Forum



Participants are expected to complete the required reading and activities posted in each of the learning sections. Rubrics are available for all graded assignments. Please refer to the specific sections for complete details for each assignment. The guidelines below outline module expectations for all graded assignments.

Discussion Forum Participation

Participants are expected to contribute at least three postings (one original and two responses) for each discussion forum. Responses will be evaluated based on demonstration of knowledge of course content and connections made among concepts in course and professional practice.

Discussion Forums include the following:

  • Section 1: Orientation Discussion Forum (required but not graded.)
  • Section 2: UDL Discussion Forum
  • Section 3: Assistive Technology Discussion Forum
  • Section 5: The SETT Framework Discussion Forum
  • Section 6: Technology Integration Discussion Forum

Please refer to the rubric linked below to review forum grading guidelines.

» Discussion Forum Expectations

Section 2: UDL Content Process Form

Participants are expected to demonstrate how they currently use UDL principles in their instruction and identify new ways that they can incorporate UDL principles into instruction.

Please refer to the rubric linked below to review grading guidelines.

» UDL Content Process Form Rubric

Section 4: 3-2-1 Reflection

Participants are expected to respond thoughtfully to the 3-2-1 Reflection on assistive technology.

Please refer to the rubric linked below to review grading guidelines.

» 3-2-1 Reflection Rubric

Section 5: SETT Framework Study Case Study

Participants will select a student profile and use the knowledge of the SETT framework to identify ways to adapt the classroom environment, tasks, and tools to support the student's specific learning needs.

Please refer to the rubric linked below to review grading guidelines.

» SETT Framework Rubric

Section 6: Technology Integration Plan

Participants will complete a final project that demonstrates their learning about assistive technology and UDL principles.

In the culminating assignment, participants will prepare a two-page report documenting a plan to integrate assistive technology into classroom instruction.

Please review the rubric below for project guidelines and grading criteria.

» Technology Integration Plan Rubric



Grades are based on active and reflective participation, completion of activities and quality of work. See rubrics for specific guidelines for each assignment. At the successful completion of all course activities, participants who earn an 80% or above will receive a "pass" designation. Participants who learn less than 80% will receive a "fail" designation. Grades will be apportioned as follows:

Course Components

Points Per Section

Total Points


Discussion and Collaboration




UDL Content Process Form




3-2-1 Reflection




SETT Framework
Student Case Study




Technology Integration Plan





Course Resources

The following websites provide additional research, strategies and resources on assistive technology. You may wish to bookmark all or some of these resources for future reference. It is also recommended that you check the MSDE and local school district websites for additional resources.

Alliance for Technology Access, AT Network: Assistive Technology Tools for Living and Department of Rehabilitation

  • »

Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST)

Center for Technology in Education & Technology and Media Division

Don Johnston Inc

  • »


Maryland Assistive Technology Network

Maryland State Department of Education

Montgomery County Public Schools High Incidence Accessible Technology

National Center for Technology Innovation

National Center on Universal Design for Learning

SpeEd Change


  • »

University of Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions

Vimeo by Atomic Learning


This online course is a product of the Maryland Technology Proficiency Project, a federal Title II-D Ed Tech partnership grant, in collaboration with the Maryland State Department of Education and Maryland Public Television/Thinkport.

© 2011 MSDE. All Rights Reserved.

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