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Assistive Technology Resource Center

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) provides assistive technology devices and services in two areas: (1) Assistive Technology (AT) to access to the curriculum; and (2) Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) for communication support.

The appropriate implementation and use of assistive technologies has the ability to increase abilities and provide greater accessibility to educational opportunities for eligible students with disabilities. Assistive technology devices and services can be used to extend physical, social and communication skills and provide the means for academic inclusion. Many students with disabilities have successfully used assistive technologies to minimize barriers to gain access to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE).

Student using an Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC) device.

Student using an Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC) device.

Student with bilateral splints for stylus to access an AT device.

Student with bilateral splints for stylus to access an AT device.

Student using a splint for accessing a switch.

Student using a splint for accessing a switch.

Student using two head switches to access an AAC device.

Student using two head switches to access an AAC device.

Programs and Services

The Assistive Technology Resource Center (ATRC) is a valuable resource center which provides CPS with the ability to provide eligible students with disabilities access to a variety of assistive technology devices and services that may not be available at the school level. The ATRC provides the following services:

  1. Consultations: Assistance with helping to determine if AT or AAC is needed for a student.
  2. Coaching: In-person assistance with implementation strategies for AT & AAC devices in the classroom.
  3. Evaluations: An assessment conducted to help select the appropriate equipment and/or acquire knowledge of the appropriate strategies to give the student access to the curriculum and/or for communication.
  4. Acquisition: Upon the recommendation of the AT or AAC Evaluator, and the agreement of the IEP/504 Plan team, the ATRC will provide trial and/or loaner equipment for qualifying CPS students (if appropriate assistive technology is not available at the school level). All equipment, issued to individual students by the ATRC, is considered on loan to the student until they: a) no longer require the equipment to succeed academically, b) no longer are eligible for IEP/504 services, or c) leave the CPS school system.
  5. Training: A trainer provides instructions on how to use the assistive technologies to access the curriculum and/or communicate. Training resources such as webinars and websites are available online.
  6. Follow-Up: ATRC conducts periodic status checks for loaner AT devices throughout the district; and will continue to follow-up with staff regarding data collection and equipment use.
  7. Technical Support: We offer support for device repairs and/or replacement for all ATRC recommended and/or loaned equipment.

Office of Diverse Learner Supports and Services


773-553-1801 (Fax)

42 W. Madison St.
Chicago, IL 60602

Have Questions?

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For questions around special education services, please contact the ODLSS District Representative or Special Education Administrator assigned to your school, Parent Involvement Specialists are also available.

For concerns specific to your child's school nursing services, please review this document. You may also contact us directly using the information below.

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(773) 553-Kids (5437)

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