Low-Cost AT Solutions for School

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Young girl wearing slightly oversized black framed glasses standing in front of a black background surrounded by doodle artwork and complex math equations. Beneath Where it's AT logo, text reads "Low Cost AT Solutions for School www.AbilityTools.org"

Michelle Rosado, Program Coordinator II, and & Victor Mendoza, Membership & Logistics Administrator, for California Foundation for Independent Living Centers

It’s that time of the year again where students are recharged and ready for the new school year. Being prepared and having the right tools is important so that students can thrive and succeed in the classroom. Get your back-to-school shopping list ready because the Where It’s AT Team has you covered with 20 awesome low-cost AT under $20 for school.

Top Twenty Under $20

  1. Pencil Grip Holders – The design of pencil grip holders encourages the fingers and hand to rest in the proper position for gripping. Pencil grip holders have a flexible ergonomic design that is both durable and soft. Pencil grip holders help relieve hand pain and improve comfort. In addition they provide support for disabilities that can effect gripping or hand weakness. They have so many color and design options online and on average cost $10 for a pack of 6. Additionally, you can check out these foam grips for those who need larger grip adaptations, a 12 pack runs $15.
  2. Adaptive Scissors – Adaptive scissors have a loop handle which helps the user stay in control. They are light weight, and the design of these scissors make it safe for children and adults to easily grip and cut. There are many color options and a 3 pair set costs $9. For older children who can safely operate these Craft Cutting Tools may offer a unique alternative to cutting, fingers may be able to more easily hold the concave part of handle to keep the balance of your hands during carving, and the shape design improves its stability, a pack of two costs $8.
  3. Jumbo Pencils – The size of the pencil makes it a great choice to help individuals get a better grip. Jumbo pencils can be used for drawing, writing and even sketching. They are non-toxic and safe for all age groups. These Jumbo Pencils cost $7 for a pack of 12.
  4. Rocketbook Reusable Notepad – These notepads are not only great for the environment, but they help keep all notes in one place. Students can take handwritten notes on the Rocketbook notepad, snap a picture and upload to the app, and wipe down effortlessly. They are sustainable and great for helping students stay organized. A small Rocketbook notepad costs $16.
  5. Bold Lined Paper – Bold lined paper has thick high contrast lines that are easy to see and use, great for students with low-vision. A 100 page notebook can cost around $7.
  6. Planner – Planners are a great reminder tool to help users remember deadlines for assignments, or of upcoming exams. Planners can also help remind students of important activities such as sport tryouts, school fieldtrips, college application deadlines etc. Planners on average cost $12. Students who prefer digital planners can use free apps like Todoist , Microsoft To Do, and Calendly.
  7. Book Holder – Book holders provide you with an adjustable reading stand. Book holders allow users to read without having to physically hold a book that can cause straining on back, shoulders or neck. Students can enjoy reading books again while promoting proper posture and improve spinal health. On average a book holder costs $16.
  8. Book Light – A book light clips on to a book and provides bright light to help readers with low-vision. The brightness can be adjusted to the users need. A book light can cost around $19.
  9. Lap Desk – Lap desks turn any couch, bed, porch, or favorite comfy chair into the perfect place to work from. Great for wheelchair users, users with back injuries or those who are unable to sit in a desk chair for prolonged periods of time. Lap desks are multifunctional and can cost $18.
  10. Scratch Art Pad – Feeling stressed and overwhelmed with school work? Take a break! Scratch pads are a fun and easy way to create colorful drawings. These art pads are lightweight and can be carried around in a backpack. Scratch Art Pads typically cost $13.
  11. Electric Pencil Sharpener – Electric pencil sharpeners are great for students that experience joint pain. Electric pencil sharpeners are fast and help prevent over sharpening that often results in the pencil tip breaking. Electric sharpeners on average cost $16.
  12. Anti Slip Covers for Earbuds – Keep your earbuds securely in your ears, preventing them from slipping and falling out. On average anti slip earbud covers cost $10.
  13. Earbud Cleaning Tools -keep your earbuds clean and free of dirt and debris. This set costs just under $10.
  14. Windows PC Reference Keyboard Shortcut Vinyl Sticker – Quick tips at your fingertips! This tool makes it easy to learn how to use your computer much faster and makes your workflow increase exponentially. It’s perfect for any age or skill level, students or seniors, at home, or in the office. Also available for Mac OS Shortcuts Sticker, with an average cost of $6.
  15. Medical Alert id Bracelets for Kids – This bracelet allows you to customize important medical information, such as allergies or conditions, helping first responders and medical professionals provide the necessary care in case of an emergency. Average cost being about $13.
  16. Noise Cancelling Headphones – For children with sensory sensitivities, noise-canceling headphones can help create a more comfortable learning environment, this pair costs $13.
  17. Magnetic Rings Fidget Toy Set – Fidget toys or tools can be helpful for children who benefit from tactile stimulation or have trouble maintaining focus. There are a wide variety of options available. The cost of this 9 pc set is $10, but check out this 50 piece fidget pack for $25!
  18. PECS or Picture Exchange Communication System allows children with a speech delay or non-verbal communication to be able to communicate via pictures. This set runs $15. PECS can also be used as part of a visual schedule or chart which can assist children with autism or cognitive disabilities in understanding daily routines and tasks. These Visual Schedule Cards cost $20.
  19. Weighted Lap Pad – Can be used to promote focus, calmness, and improved attention for individuals with sensory processing disorders, ADHD, or other conditions that impact concentration, the cost for this 2 lb. pad is $20.
  20. Color-Coded Organizers– Children who need support with organization might find color-coded organizers or visual aids like folders or notebooks helpful, to help keep track of assignments and materials. Color pens and additionally Colored Flags can be used for marking pages or reading assignments in books, the cost for this pack of 35 flags is $15

Affordable AT Solutions That Won’t Break the Bank

We just couldn’t pass up the chance to share a few more budget friendly solutions.

YouTube video of the JanSport Pack Review: Central Adaptive backpack
  1. Fidget Computer Mouse – This mouse is great for tactile learners. A fidget gadget + computer mouse that is beneficial for sensory seekers, helping them to focus while working in front of a computer at a reasonable cost of $40.
  2. Adaptive Backpack – Versatile Adaptive Backpack: Designed for maximum convenience, this backpack is wheelchair and walker compatible, ensuring easy transport and access on-the-go for a variety of mobile devices, with an average cost of $53, this backpack is similarly priced to any other JanSport backpack on the market.
  3. Sensory Compression Vest – Sensory compression vests are often designed to provide gentle pressure to help individuals with sensory processing disorders, autism spectrum disorders, or other sensory sensitivities helping individuals manage sensory overload or anxiety, at a cost of just $30.

Don’t underestimate the impact of a modest investment in assistive tech – small changes can spark BIG transformations for your student’s learning experience!