The Louisiana Assistive Technology Initiative (LATI) is a project to promote information, resources and professional development about assistive technology for educators and families. LATI provides funding for regional assistive technology centers across the state. The purpose of the centers is to provide local training and hands-on support to build district capacity for the implementation of assistive technology in schools. In addition to the regional centers, LATI provides state-wide leadership, guidance and resources for district policies and procedures, assistive technology funding and training.
LATI Supports for Priority Areas
1. Train, model and support educators to implement AT and UDL strategies for student success necessary to carry out Act 833 guidelines.
2. Collaborate with Early Childhood Community Networks and educators to ensure students enter preschool and kindergarten with available AT tools and strategies necessary to promote critical thinking, reasoning, and communication.
3. Increase parental and professional awareness and implementation of AT tools and strategies that empower self-learning and independence creating a pathway to achieve success beyond high school.
Assist school systems, families and students to:
1. Improve performance by empowering stakeholders to assist SWD in utilizing AT for the purpose of accessing the curriculum and online assessments.
2. Increase the capacity of the school systems to develop, implement and maintain its own AT infrastructure for supporting the on-going AT needs of SWD.
3. Collaborate with LDOE sponsored grants, advocacy groups, agencies and universities to promote implementation of AT and best instructional practices.
WHAT IS ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY?
Do you use a calendar to keep you organized or make lists of things to do or for shopping, or do you use a smartphone to find directions? Well then, you may be using Assistive Technology (AT).
Many students with disabilities need some type of classroom support to help them be successful and independent. Some students may use calculators, others may use pencil grips or special writing utensils where others may use a computer to complete classroom tasks. These items are considered AT.
The definition of AT according to IDEA (2004)
An assistive technology device is any item, piece of equipment, or product system, acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.
Assistive Technology encompasses a broad range of devices from very simple (low tech) to very sophisticated (high tech).
An assistive technology service is any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.
(IDEA, 20 U.S.C. Chapter 33, Sect. 1401)