The University of Iowa

Assistive Technology Consultation for Families

Four students using tablet computers as their teacher looks on

Assistive technology can help students participate in class and complete academic and everyday reading and writing tasks.

As part of our mission to help all students improve their reading and writing skills, we offer free assistive technology consultation for families of children with dyslexia and other reading disabilities.

Request a one-on-one assistive technology consultation appointment with our assistive technology coordinator in Iowa City on the University of Iowa campus.

In-Person Appointment Request Form

Request a one-on-one virtual assistive technology consultation appointment with our assistive technology coordinator via videoconference (free for Iowa residents, $35 for an appointment for all others)

Virtual Appointment Request Form

How Can Assistive Technology Help My Child?

Assistive technology includes devices, software, or equipment purposefully chosen to help children with reading disabilities complete academic and everyday tasks. Assistive technology facilitates students’ full participation in academic instruction and allows them to demonstrate their learning in equitable ways.

Grace Cacini and Natalie Schloss
Assistive Technology Coordinators (L to R) Grace Cacini and Natalie Schloss.

What We Offer

In-Person Assistive Technology Consultation Appointments

Families are encouraged to bring their child who has a reading disability to the appointment. However, this is not required, and families may participate without their child as well.

At the appointment at the Iowa Reading Research Center offices on the University of Iowa campus, families will meet with our assistive technology coordinator. The appointment will be tailored to meet the needs of the family.

Virtual Assistive Technology Consultation Appointment

Virtual appointments are similar to our in-person appointments, with families meeting with the assistive technology coordinator via videoconference. Families will be shown technology through video and screen sharing functions. They will be able to ask questions in real-time, similar to if they were meeting in person. The appointment will be tailored to the needs of the family. 

Appointment Components

Device Check Out

Depending on availability, the assistive technology devices are available following the consultation appointment to check out for a short period of time for trying out in the home. We want to help families feel comfortable with a particular piece of assistive technology prior to purchasing it for themselves. If you have participated in a virtual appointment, you may come to the Iowa Reading Research Center to check out a device. 


This appointment is not an evaluation of your child’s reading or writing abilities and is not aimed at providing any diagnosis, professional intervention, or medical advice. Given our specific focus on devices for individuals with dyslexia and other reading disabilities, our consultation is not appropriate for children with intellectual disabilities, sensory motor disabilities, or autism spectrum disorder. Although those individuals also might be experiencing reading or writing difficulties, they would require different kinds of assistive technology than we demonstrate during our appointments. The IRRC does not represent school districts, Area Education Agencies, or the companies that make the technology we demonstrate.


Contact us at, or fill out our form to let us know you are interested in an appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q: What Happens During an Appointment? 

A: The assistive technology coordinator will demonstrate different apps, Google Chrome extensions, and devices aimed at helping children with reading and writing tasks. You are encouraged to ask questions during the appointment, and the assistive technology coordinator will gear the demonstration towards your specific needs. 

Q: Can My Child Also Receive Services Such as Assessment, Diagnosis, and Tutoring During the Appointment? 

A: No, this service is not an evaluation of your child’s reading or writing abilities and is not aimed at providing any diagnosis, professional intervention, or medical advice. Likewise, this appointment is not a form of tutoring. 

Q: Does My Child Need to Have Been Diagnosed With a Reading Disability or Have an IEP/504 Plan in Order to Make an Appointment? 

A: No, our service is open to any family who is interested in how assistive technology can play a role in helping their child complete reading and writing tasks.

Q: Do We Need to Bring Anything to the Appointment? 

A: No, you are not required to bring anything special with you. We supply all of the technology necessary for demonstrating. You are welcome to bring your own devices, but note that some of the technology we show has to be purchased and will not be accessible on a personal device for free. 

If your child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP), it can be helpful to either bring a copy or some notes about your child’s plan so we can discuss ways your child would be able to integrate technology into the routine he or she already has. 

Q: Is the Appointment 100% Free? 

A: Yes, for all Iowa residents, our appointments are free. Appointments are also available to those outside of Iowa for $35. Additionally, you may rent technology from us, at no charge, unless the technology is damaged while in your possession. 

Q: How Long do Appointments Last? 

A: Appointment length depends on what you are interested in having demonstrated, and making sure all your questions are answered. On average, demonstrating all the iPad features takes 30–45 min, and demonstrating all the Chromebook features would take 45 minutes–1 hour. 

Q: Should My Child Attend the Appointment With Me? 

A: This is completely up to you. You know your child best, and if being able to see the technology and have your child try it out with the coordinator present to help would be beneficial, then we encourage you to have your child attend. Some families choose not to because the child is unavailable or because a 1-2 hour demonstration would be a long time to sit for. Families are able to rent the technology for their children to try at home in both cases.  

Q: If I Have More Than One Child Who Would Benefit From Assistive Technology Do I Need to Schedule Two Separate Appointments? 

A: No, you only need to schedule one appointment even when you have more than one child who would benefit. Please ask the assistive technology coordinator prior to your appointment if you have further questions. 

Q: Can I Still Rent Out Technology if I Choose a Virtual Appointment? 

A: Yes, we offer the option to rent technology out no matter what type of appointment you choose. If you participate in a virtual appointment, you will need to arrange with the assistive technology coordinator a time to come to the Iowa Reading Research Center and pick up the technology. Technology can be rented for roughly a week.