Assistive Technology Cycle
Assistive Technology is an ongoing process that requires evaluating, trialing, implementing and monitoring to make sure the appropriate tools are available to support students with disabilities.
Step 1 is to get SETT and consider AT.
Step 2 is to choose and trial AT.
Step 3 is to create an implementation plan.
Step 4 is to monitor use and then evaluate and re-evaluate for effectiveness.
Assistive Technology Basics
Assistive Technology (AT) should be considered for every student with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or student with a Section 504 Plan. It should also be considered as part of Response to Intervention (RTI) and in planning for Universal Design in Learning (UDL). But what is Assistive Technology?
Assistive Technology is basically anything that helps a student with a disability. It is considered on a continuum from low tech - such as a pencil grip, raised paper, graph paper, a graphic organizer, post-it notes, to high tech - such as a computer with specialized software or a dedicated speech generating device.
According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004 (IDEA), the federal special education law, AT is broken up into two broad categories: devices and services.
Devices are legally defined under IDEA as any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a child with a disability.
Services are defined as "any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device." Services include: