Assistive Technology Explained

Assistive Technology for Learning (ATL)

ATL is the devices, media and services used in learning environments to overcome barriers for students with learning, physical, sensory, cognitive, speech or behavioural needs to actively engage in learning and to achieve their individual learning goals.

The primary goal of the ATL initiative is to support all students, including those with special needs, in achieving the learning outcomes of the Alberta curriculum or their individual learning goals.

ATL Media and Devices

Like other technologies, ATL ranges from simple tools to complex systems. It could be as simple as providing a pencil grip for writing or as complex as a computer with screen reading software for reading and learning.

ATL Media and Devices can be categorized as to the area of need for individual students. These categories include but are not exclusive to:


The above information was taken from Alberta Education, Technology in Schools.

ALT Services

The Fort McMurray Catholic Schools has in place a range of assistive technology resources to meet the individual needs of all our students. We have a broad range of established simple tools available in all elementary schools. These technology tools include the following:

 Pencil grips  Head Phones  Fidgets
 FM systems  Sensory rooms Raised line paper
 Math manipulatives  Adjustable Lighting Picture prompts
 Visual timers Picture Symbols Dictionaries

More recently we have been testing and introducing a range of more complex electronic tools such as iPads and laptops. Students who have needs in the any of the categories of reading, writing, communication, organization and motor control can be placed in a trial of AT. The programs being trialled include such things as word prediction software, text-to-speech software, and dictating software. The students are also supported in learning best practices regarding the usage of electronic devices in a classroom setting.