The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) requires school districts to consider AT devices and services for each student with a disability. In MA, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recommends that AT be considered for students with disabilities before the creation of the student's IEP (Individualized Educational Program) goals. Why? Because students with disabilities benefit from AT to such a degree that not only can it help them reach educational goals, it can also help them envision new and higher goals.

AT in the classroom ranges from "low tech" devices like pencil grips and cardboard reading frames (to focus eyes on a single line of text) to "high tech" devices like alternative keyboards, screen reading software, and specialized calculators. Some devices require extensive training and customized programming; others are simple, and more easily mastered.

In general, AT should be considered if it can help a student complete a task or perform a skill more easily and with less help from others. It should also enable students to participate in the "least restrictive environment" possible and interact with their classmates.