Presentation on theme: "February 2013 Compiled by Sally Christian, M.S. CCC-SLP Assistive Technology Department San Diego Unified School District Assistive Technology Consideration."— Presentation transcript:
February 2013 Compiled by Sally Christian, M.S. CCC-SLP Assistive Technology Department San Diego Unified School District Assistive Technology Consideration & Assessment
What is Assistive Technology? Assistive Technology (AT) devices & services were first defined in federal law in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990 (PL ) 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 the functional capabilities of children with disabilities.” PL definition remained in effect until 2004 when the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (PL ) was passed, including the following clarification: The term AT device does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such a device (e.g., cochlear implants).
What is included in the definition? IDEA uses the term ‘DEVICE’, however AT includes supports like: Software (e.g., CoWriter, Kurzweil) Hardware (e.g., laptop, computer stand) Augmentative Communication Systems (e.g., iPad with communication app, ChatPC, GoTalk20+) The definition of AT is very broad, and gives IEP teams the flexibility to make decisions about what is appropriate for individual students.
Some Areas in Which AT May be Needed Navigate/access the school environment Communicate Hear Participate socially Physically access print materials Decode/comprehend print materials Produce written material Access the computer Do math work Organize and study Take state and local tests Participate in recreation/physical education Participate in student activities Support vocational interests, work skills And more…..
The Assistive Technology “Process” The process of identifying and providing appropriate, individualized AT supports is roughly divided into 2 steps or parts: 1. Consideration of AT prior to and at an IEP meeting 2. Assessment of the specific AT needs of a student In the next slides, the differences between CONSIDERATION and ASSESSMENT will be explored
Consideration of Assistive Technology In education, AT needs are tied directly to a student’s free and appropriate public education (FAPE) For an IEP Team, this means that AT needs must be CONSIDERED for each and every student who has an IEP AT is not limited to students with moderate or severe disabilities AT Consideration is a brief but important step in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) that ensures AT is considered as a tool to help a student receive a free, appropriate public education (i.e., FAPE)
Consideration of Assistive Technology AT consideration requires that an IEP team participate in a decision-making process to facilitate the student's access and progress in the general curriculum. Prior to considering AT, the IEP must: 1. Clearly identify the unique needs of the student and 2. Identify the tasks to be performed in the educational program (hint: look at student goals)
Consideration of Assistive Technology When Considering AT, the question an IEP Team needs to ask itself is: “Does the student need AT to meaningfully participate and progress in the general curriculum?”
Consideration of Assistive Technology If the answer to the previous question is YES, then the IEP Team can consider these two questions: 1. What is it that we expect the student to be able to do in the educational environment that he/she is not able to do because of his/her disability? 2. Would Assistive Technology provide a solution for the answer to #1?
Guides for Consideration of AT Different organizations have developed guides for assist IEP Teams in this thought process: OCALI Consideration for Assistive Technology Checklist WATI - ASNAT (Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative - Assessing Student Need for Assistive Technology) The QIAT Leadership Team (Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology) Guiding document for including assistive technology in the IEP (2009) SETT (Student, Environment, Task, Tools) Scaffold for the Consideration of Assistive Technology (Joy Smiley Zabala) GPAT (Georgia Project for Assistive Technology)
Guides for Consideration of AT Many School Districts have their own AT Consideration Guides available In SDUSD, a CONSIDERATION OF ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY guide is available on the Assistive Technology Department site as part of the AT Packet Access the guide at:
Contents of SDUSD AT Consideration Guide What is it we want the child to be able to do within the education program that he/she isn’t able to do because of his/her disability? What are the child’s (family’s) needs, skills, and preferences? What has already been tried to meet the special education need? How long has it been used? What was the result? Is the current assistive technology working? Yes – include evidence to support success No What other assistive technology information or resources does the IEP team need to meet the student’s identified educational needs? In SDUSD, Complete REQUEST FOR ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY SERVICES and forward to SDUSD AT Department at Wiggin B-10
AT Consideration Determinations When considering the SDUSD AT Consideration Guide, results are 1 of 3 determinations: 1. AT is not needed. The student is making adequate progress with the available instruction and interventions. 2. AT is needed. Indicate "yes" and describe in the IEP how, when, and where the new or current devices and services will be provided. 3. AT is needed, but the IEP team is unsure of what devices and services are most appropriate. the team will decide the areas on which AT will be tried and then gather data to determine the best solution. The team may explore resources within or from outside the district to adequately assess the student's needs for AT. In the IEP document, describe the need for an AT consultation or assessment as a service.
How is AT Consideration Documented? IEP documentation includes: a checkbox verifying that assistive technology has been considered, the reasons for the decisions and recommendations should be clearly stated. In SDUSD – Special Factors Section of IEP Supporting evidence, including referral to the results of assistive technology assessments, data from device trials, data documenting differences in achievement with and without assistive technology, student preferences for competing devices, and teacher observations, among others.
Review of Key Points of AT Consideration Assistive technology devices and services are considered for all students with disabilities regardless of type or severity of disability. During the development of the IEP, the IEP team should use a collaborative decision-making process that supports systematic consideration of each student's possible need for assistive technology devices and services. IEP team members should use collective knowledge and skills to make informed assistive technology decisions and seek assistance when needed.
Review of Key Points of AT Consideration Decisions regarding the need for assistive technology devices and services are based on the student's IEP goals and objectives, access to curricular and extracurricular activities, and progress in the general education curriculum. When considering a student's need for assistive technology devices and services, the IEP team should gather and analyzes data about the student, customary environments, educational goals, and tasks.
Review of Key Points of AT Consideration When assistive technology is an identified need, the IEP team refers to knowledgeable personnel who explores a range of assistive technology devices, services, and other supports that address identified needs. The assistive technology consideration process and results are documented in the IEP and include a rationale for the decision and supporting evidence.
Moving from Consideration to Assessment If the team determines that further AT Assessment is warranted, beyond the AT Consideration that was completed as part of the student IEP, then: 1. The assessment must also be written into the IEP document as a service…. 2. indicating the areas of concern that will be explored. In SDUSD, if the need for further AT Assessment is determined at an IEP meeting, it is typically indicated in Team Action of the IEP, however, an Assessment Plan can also be generated
Initiating Assistive Technology Assessment When the actual AT solution may not be known, and the IEP team recognizes that a need is not being met and should seek further information regarding available solutions/tools. In SDUSD, an AT Assessment or Consultation is initiated by completing the Request for Assistive Technology Services, which is part of the AT Referral Packet found at:
What is the Purpose of an AT Assessment? Identify technology tools that are required for student beyond what is available in classroom or on campus Identify technology services that are needed, which may include: training or coordination of a new assistive technology system or tool
AT Assessment is….. DYNAMIC MULTIFACETED ONGOING
AT Assessment is a process which includes: INFORMATION GATHERING and DECISION MAKING and may include: TRIAL USE OF DEVICES/EQUIPMENT
AT Assessment Referral Sources While an IEP Team can initiate a request for AT Assessment as part of an IEP meeting, a referral may also come from: Parents Any other member of the IEP Team But ultimately: An AT Referral or Request for Assessment/Consultation can be initiated at ANY TIME by ANY member of the student’s IEP Team
Where an AT Assessment Begins There are no standardized tests for AT Assessments Most AT Providers use guiding documents, or a conceptual framework, like SETT, during the assessment Developed by WATI (Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative), the ASNAT (Assessing Student Needs for Assistive Technology 5 th Edition) is a guide that helps an assessment team focus on student strengths, needs, and preferences
What is SETT? SETT is a framework based on the work of Joy Zabala (1994) SETT stands for: S TUDENT E NVIRONMENT T ASKS T OOLS
Student What are the functional areas of concern? What does the student need to be able to do that is difficult or impossible to do at this time? What are the student’s special needs? (related to area of concern) What are the student’s current abilities? (related to area of concern)
Environments That is the instructional and physical arrangement of this student’s environments in which he/she participates? What support is available to the student and staff? What are the materials and equipment currently available? What the access issues (technological, physical, instructional)? What are the attitudes and expectations of the staff, family, and others?
Tasks What specific tasks occur in the student’s natural environments that enable progress toward the mastery of IEP goals? What specific tasks related to communication, instruction, participation, productivity, and/or environmental control are required for active involvement in identified environments?
Tools What are possible tools that support student educational need? “Tools” includes: Devices that support student success. Services that support student success. Strategies that support student success.
Determining Appropriate Tools Tools and supports are determined based on the supportive features a student needs was well as the availability of those features in a particular tool A plan for implementation is developed and training is provided to appropriate staff, family, and related service providers. A particular tool may be selected and TRIALED to determine if it provides the intended level of specific support Trials typically last a predetermined amount of time, after which follow-up consultation is completed to determine effectiveness of the recommended AT items & make changes as indicated.
Note about TOOLS…. There is no GOLD STANDARD, ONE-SIZE FITS ALL tool or support (e.g., iPad) AT recommendations are based on the UNIQUE INDIVIDUAL NEEDS of a particular student The FEATURES of particular Tools, technology and devices are MATCHED to the EDUCATIONAL NEEDS of an individual STUDENT In essence, a student doesn’t QUALIFY or a particular tool or support, a particular tool or technique is determined to have the features needed to support a student’s EDUCATIONAL NEED
AT Documentation in the IEP Typically in Special Factors portion of IEP Check the box for Assistive Technology AT described with general statements - NOT the names of specific equipment (this is likely noted elsewhere, like in evaluation documents) E.g., “Static display voice-output communication aid with an array of 9 buttons.” E.g., “text to speech software”
AT and Autism Students with Autism, while not an homogeneous group, tend to have considerations for AT that fall into the areas of COMMUNICATION, ORGANIZATION (both of daily schedule and written products), BEHAVIOR MANAGEMENT/REGULATION, and WRITING (the physical aspect). While the above tend to be primary areas of challenge for mild/moderate students on the Autism Spectrum due to the nature of the disability, AT can be provided for a broader range of areas of educational need as identified as appropriate by the IEP Team
Important Points to Remember AT supports ARE directly tied to a child’s educational program An AT services & devices are provided to a student when the IEP Team (which includes the parents) determines that they are EDUCATIONALLY NECESSARY for student access to their educational environment(s). Each IEP team must CONSIDER AT for every student with an IEP
Pitfalls and Common Errors AT is considered for students with severe disabilities only. No one on the IEP team is knowledgeable regarding AT. Team does not use a consistent process based on data about the student, environment, and tasks to make decisions. Consideration of AT is limited to those items that are familiar to team members or are available in the district. Team members fail to consider access to the curriculum and IEP goals in determining if AT is required in order for the student to receive FAPE. If AT is not needed, team fails to document the basis of its decisions.
AT Contacts The Assistive Technology Department in SDUSD is located at Wiggin Center, room B-10 Contact number:
Resources & References AT Consultation IDEA info retrieved from: AT Assessment IDEA info retrieved from: Gracious input from Anne Callies, AT Lead, SDUSD SETT information can be retrieved from: WAIT ASNAT information can be retrieved from: