I love the quote from the IBM Training Manual. The fact that technology is easier for those without disabilities has made assistive tech commonplace. This serves two purposes; to increase the amount of assistive tech on everyday devices which reduces the need to purchase special equipment or separate programs; and it allows those with disabilities to not feel singled out as everyone is using assistive tech.This leads to many people having assistive tech capabilities on their own personal devices which reduces the need for the time and effort to apply for funding for these students. The other possibilities come from the fact the a school budget does not need to purchase and upgrade technology for the whole school as in the past (ie computer labs). Many students have newer technology in their pockets so it seems pointless to spend limited budgets in this area. Instead money can be used to purchase extra devices for use by those students who do not have access to the tech / assistive tech that they need to help them demonstrate their learning.
I find that many of the assistive technologies that would have been reserved for students with special needs in the past, are now accessible for all students. Instead of using our tech for a select few students, I am using it with everyone. Sure, my students with special needs may use it more often but it no longer has a "stigma" attached to it because everyone can benefit from it. In fact, I have my students with special needs act as experts to train other students how to use certain programs and devices. I am lucky to work in a school that is rich with technology resources so this definitely helps. But I do really feel that if look at assistive technology in a new way, we will see that many of the devices we have in our school already can be adaptable to many learning needs.