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The Team Approach to AT/TSE Assessment

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1 The Team Approach to AT/TSE Assessment
Adapted from the work of Joy Zabala and Penney Reed Revised and updated from Dr. R. Fahey and Dr. A. Finch By: Teresa Pinder

2 Assessment -vs.- Evaluation
Dimension: Focus of Measurement Process –vs.- Product Oriented Uses of Findings Diagnostic –vs.- Judgmental Standards of Measurement Absolute –vs.- Comparative Relationship Reflective/Cooperative –vs.- Prescriptive/Competitive

3 Who makes up the AT team? Special educator
Parent and other family members General education teacher Appropriate specialists Assistive technology specialist Student / User

4 Who are these specialists and what are their roles?
Speech/language pathologist (SLP) Occupational therapist (OT) Physical therapist (PT) Audiologist School psychologist Social worker

5 AT Considerations for the Team:
Would AT assist in better performance or improve abilities with less restrictions and/or greater independence? What tasks do we want the student to do that he/she is unable to do that reflects his/her skills abilities? (reading, writing, communication, etc.) Is any form of AT currently being used and if so, how successful is it?

6 Elements of an AT Assessment
Use a team approach Focus on student needs and abilities Examination of task to be completed Consideration of relevant environmental issues

7 Elements of an AT Assessment
Trial use of the AT Providing necessary supports Viewing the assessment as an on going process When something changes the team takes another look

8 SETT Framework (Zabala)
SETT Framework for assessment, decision making and implementing the AT plan. S: for the Student E: for the Environment T: for the Tasks T: for the Tools needed for the student to address the task(s)

9 S: The Student Who is the student?
What are the student’s special needs? What are the students current abilities? What does the student need to do? (main areas of concern) Identify about the student: What we know What we need to know!

10 E: The Environment What are the instructional and physical arrangements in the environment(s)? Are there special concerns? What materials and equipment are currently available in the environment(s)? What supports are available to the student and the people working with the student on a daily basis? How are attitudes/expectations of others in the environment affecting student performance?

11 T: The Task What activities/tasks occur in the student’s natural environments which enable progress of the IEP goals? What is everyone else in the environment doing? (peers, siblings, others?) What are the critical elements of the activities/tasks and what makes these difficult for the student?

12 T: The Tool(s) Is a solution of AT tools and strategies required for the student with these needs and abilities to do these tasks in these environments? What low tech, mid. tech, and high tech solutions should be considered? How might the student’s special needs be accommodated without changing the important elements of the tasks/activities? What strategies might be used to incorporate AT solution(s) into the situation/activities ?

13 Implementing an AT Plan
AT Trial Plan How long will we try the device/solution(s)? When will we get started? Who will be responsible for follow-up? Where can we get trial a device/system? State Loan Library Free loaners or short leases from vendors Community sources for short term loan Websites for downloads and information

14 Follow-up and Decision Making
Re-evaluation following trial period Recommendations from team members Training of student and others Identify funding sources Emergency/ back-up planning for downtime Establish a follow-up schedule

15 Resources: Dell, A. G., Newton, D. A., & Petroff, J. G. (2008) Assistive technology in the classroom: Enhancing the School Experiences of Students with Disabilities. Pearson-Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River, NJ. ISBN-13: ; ISBN-10: Cook, A.M. & Polgar, J.M. (2008) Cook and Hussey’s assistive technology: Principles and practice. (3rd Ed.) St. Louis, MO: Mosby. ISBN: Web Sites:

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