Assistive Technology


Providing devices as well as training, support and strategies for current assistive technologies

Girl Uses Assistive Technology in the ClassroomAssistive technology (AT), as defined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), is “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.”

The Maryland School for the Blind’s (MSB) AT department provides training, support and strategies for using the most current assistive technologies in functional daily activities for students, family members and staff who have visual impairments, including those with multiple disabilities.

Many MSB students have multiple disabilities, so a high emphasis is placed on meeting the needs of those students through the use of AT devices. These devices help nonverbal students communicate, learn functional life skills, access computers and other equipment, maximize limited motor skills, and meet class and homework needs. AT staff work with students in classroom and residential settings and partner with staff by providing resources and ideas for integrating assistive devices into the curriculum.

Devices used by our students include:

  • iPads with tactile overlays and manipulitives
  • Portable note takers with braille displays and speech output
  • Print reading machines with speech output, talking spellers and dictionaries
  • Digital players for audiobooks
  • Talking calculators
  • CCTV’s to magnify text to allow reading and writing in large print
  • Scanners, screen readers, screen enlargers, and braille translation programs, equipment and software
  • Touch screen computers, alternative keyboards, and switch interfaces
  • Environmental controls and switches to operate a variety of toys and appliances
  • Low tech adaptations for art activities
  • Communication devices

For more information about Assistive Technology, contact:

Karin Nord, Assistive Technology Specialist
410.444.5000 ext. 1224 | karinn@mdschblind.org