Assistive Technology (AT) for Students

Assistive technology (AT) device means any item, piece of equipment or software, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a student with a disability. AT service means any service that directly helps a student with a disability in the selection, purchase or use of an assistive technology device. AT service includes an evaluation of needs, coordination with other therapies and services, the selection and purchase of AT devices and training for the student and/or if appropriate that student’s family.

When considering AT take a close look at “SETTS”

Student: Look at strengths, abilities, preferences, learning style, motivation and challenges. What is preventing him/her from independent participation in the curriculum? What “works” for this student?

Environment: Where does the need exist? Consider the classroom, cafeteria, home, recreation and employment.

Tasks: What are the goals for this child? Can the task be completed efficiently in the same manner as his/her peers?

Technology: What item will achieve the task? Technology can address needs in the areas of writing, communication, reading, studying, math, recreation and leisure, activities of daily living, vision, hearing, work, positioning and seating.

Strategies:  Define where and how the technology will be included into the student’s day – life. Decide what training is necessary for the child to be successful. Does that include parents, teachers, classroom aides or other professionals?

How to Identify Tasks

  • Gather information about the child’s disability
  • Identify what the child can or cannot do in relation to non-disabled peers
  • Consider the learning standards and goals the child is working towards
  • Develop realistic expectations

Assistive Technology is found throughout an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

  • Present levels of performance
  • Goals and objectives
  • Special education and related services
  • Supplemental aids and service

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