Assistive Technology Landing Pad

When considering the use of assistive technology (AT) and adaptations for use with young children, it is important to consider how to best promote active participation and independence. Initial steps include a thorough assessment of the child's daily routines and activities, and discussion with family members about activities that are challenging for the child. This landing pad highlights research, policies, and position statements (Why Do It?), print materials (Read All About It), videos and DVDs (See for Yourself), and Web resources (Find It Online) to support those efforts.  Featured resources are high-quality, readily available, and no-cost or low-cost.  A special section (Virginia Guidance) features Web sites, organizations, and other state-specific resources.

Why Do It?

Effective Way of Promoting Child Learning

A number of research reports summarize evidence showing that adaptations/AT are effective ways of teaching children new skills and helping them achieve functional outcomes. Go to to read the evidence about adaptations.

A summary of the research about how children can be taught to use AT devices can be found at (Campbell, Milbourne, Dugan, & Wilcox (2006), A Review of Evidence on Practices for Teaching Young Children to Use Assistive Technology Devices, Topics In Early Childhood Special Education, 26, 3-13.

Legislative Requirements

IDEA and other pieces of legislation emphasize the importance of infants and toddlers having access to AT at as early an age as possible. Within Part C, AT is one of the early intervention services that may be provided to infants as part of the IFSP. Download a handout that provides information about AT and infants & toddlers and explains legal requirements related to IDEA and AT at

See For Yourself Part 1

Participation Based Services

An overall service provision framework used to provide AT intervention with infants and young children is participation-based services©. Participation-based services includes 4 components: outcomes; intervention; teaching caregivers; and progress monitoring. Go to to download forms for using a participation-based approach, watch videotapes, and learn more about how to embed children’s AT use in everyday family activities and routines.

Ideas to Share

Often what is needed to help a child participate is an idea for an adaptation that will make participation possible. Ideas to Share have been contributed to by people working with young children in early intervention programs across the country and offers ideas for low tech adaptations based on “activities/routines” and functional skills”. You are welcome to submit ideas or visit the site to learn more about new ones.

Lending Libraries

Being able to borrow materials helps increase use of adaptations/AT with infants and young children. Download instructions about how to set up a lending library from these sites:
Or contact your Part C office or Tech Act projects to find out if your state already has a lending library of AT devices.

Integrating Assistive Technology Into Classrooms for Young Children with Disabilities

Take a bus tour of Barbara’s preschool classroom and hear her talk about using AT so that children can participate more effectively in activities and routines. lets you watch how AT can be integrated into a child care or preschool setting.

See For Yourself Part 2

SEEDS workgroup on Early Education Technology (SWEET)

Kathleen Sadao & Debbie Grant. This site contains downloadable AT training modules to use with professionals and families. Topics covered include assessment, communication, emergent literacy for infants/toddlers, AT and play, and AT and computers. In addition to AT information, each module includes information for the trainer including a module template, ice breakers, training techniques, and trainer resources – all of which may be downloaded from

Download the Assistive Technoligy Trainer's Handbook to learn really useful ideas about how to provide training about AT to others. The Handbook addresses AT with people of all ages but includes useful ideas and principles that apply to infants and young children.

Using Augmentative & Alternative Communication with Infants, Toddlers & Young Children

Janice Light, Ph.D., Penn State University provides information about using AAC with young children in a viewable webcast at Janice’s Early Intervention website also includes numerous videotapes illustrating how to provide programming for young children so that they will be able to communicate effectively using augmentative and alternative communication. Go to to see how AAC use can be taught to infants and young children with disabilities. Janice has a related website that provides procedures and visual examples about promoting literacy with children with disabilities of many ages, including toddlers and preschoolers.

Find It Online

The Family Center on Technoligy and Disability website offers a wealth of information about AT devices and how to find them, use them, and pay for them. The website is not specific to early intervention or to young children but many of the resources and searchable data bases provide excellent general resources about AT.

Let's Play Project

This University of Buffalo project is no longer active but the website includes many useful resources such as handouts about using AT within play activities, information about toys and toy selection, and numerous books and presentations that can be used to train others.

NECTAC Resource on AT

Go to to find an overview of AT with young children and articles, information about legislation, funding for devices, and lists of OSEP-funded projects.


The Tots 'n Tech Research Institute (TnT) is an inter-university collaboration between Thomas Jefferson (TJU) and Arizona State Universities (ASU). The TnT website provides a wide variety of up-to-date information, research, and resources about adaptations, including assistive technology, to use with infants and toddlers. TnT provides technical assistance to states to help them increase use of adaptations/AT with infants and toddlers and conducts a national research program about use of adaptations and assistive technology (AT).

Read About It

Assistive Technology for Young Children Creating Inclusive Learning Environments.

This book by by Kathleen Sadao and Nancy Robinson features a few sections about infants & toddlers and embedding AT within family activities and routines. To order, visit

The NECTAC Website

Includes a listing of many articles about Assistive Tech and young children. Go to to see a list of articles.

Virginia Guidance

Virginia Assistive Technology System

The Virginia Assistive Technology System (VATS) is a statewide program with a commitment to increasing awareness, accessibility and acquisition of assistive technology. VATS administers the Virginia Reuse Network (VRN) which facilitates AT recycling programs across the state.

VATS has three Assistive Technology Regional Sites that provide community contact points throughout Virginia for assistive technology information and resources across designated regions. These Regional Sites provide training, public awareness, and general technical assistance for consumers who can benefit from the use of assistive technology.

VATS also operates an Information and Referral System where callers can access information on assistive technology products, funding options, and resources that range from therapists to service providers to vendors of assistive technology devices and services. 1-800-435-8490        

Assistive Technology Loan Fund Authority

The ATLFA is a low interest loan program that assists Virginians with disabilities to get the assistive technology they need. They also provide Telework loans for individuals working from home who need equipment for their home business.

Virginia Early Intervention Professional Development Center

Virginia Commonwealth University
Partnership for People with Disabilities

Integrated Training Collaborative
Infant and Toddler Connection of Virginia
Partnership for People with Disabilities

This professional development activity is supported by the Integrated Training Collaborative (ITC), with funding support from the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Copyright © 2011 - Updated 2013