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Assistive Technology and the IEP Process Jim Stachowiak, ATP Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research.

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Presentation on theme: "Assistive Technology and the IEP Process Jim Stachowiak, ATP Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research."— Presentation transcript:

1 Assistive Technology and the IEP Process Jim Stachowiak, ATP Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research


3 Assistive Technology Definition Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 Assistive Technology - 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 individuals with disabilities

4 Assistive Technology Definition Assistive Technology – any item, device or system that utilizes one’s strengths and abilities to bypass one’s inabilities to complete a task

5 Assistive Technology Services Definition AT service refers to any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an AT device, including - Evaluation- Coordinating with other therapies - Purchasing or leasing- Training user - Selecting- Training user’s family - Designing - Technical assistance - Fitting - Adapting - Customizing

6 Debunking Anti-AT Myths AT provides a substitute for classroom instruction AT teaches a basic skill AT provides an unfair advantage AT does all of the work for the student All AT is expensive

7 Debunking Pro-AT Myths AT use is the goal The newest AT is always the best AT can be chosen based strictly on disability Once AT is chosen, the student is all set Student will always use AT

8 Assistive Technology in IEPs AT must be considered on every IEP When AT is written into an IEP, the district must provide: –An AT evaluation –Proper AT devices (other than personal devices) Purchase Lease –Coordination of technology and therapies –Proper training for individual, necessary staff, and family –Necessary modification or repair of device Lack of funding or local service are not sufficient reason not to provide AT Any device purchased by a district belongs to that district

9 AT Consideration Consideration is required Consider both AT devices and services Should involve some thought not just glossing over Discussion should only last 3-5 minutes

10 AT Consideration Must address need for AT use to access the curriculum and specially design goals Does NOT apply a mandate for an evaluation or services Should occur after goals and objectives have been identified –AT is not a goal –AT supports goals

11 Consideration vs Assessment Assessment longer than consideration Consideration occurs during the IEP meeting Assessment is more detailed and results in acquisition of new information.

12 Assistive Technology Consideration Assistive Technology should be included in an IEP when: –It enables students to perform functions that can be achieved by no other means –It enables students to approximate normal fluency, rate, or standards--a level of accomplishment which could not be achieved by any other means –It provides access for participation in programs or activities which otherwise would be closed to the individual –It increases endurance or ability to persevere and complete tasks that otherwise are too laborious to be attempted on a routine basis –It enables students to concentrate on learning tasks, rather than mechanical tasks –It provides greater access to information –It supports normal social interactions with peers and adults –It supports participation in the least restrictive educational environment

13 Possible Consideration Conclusions 1.Current interventions are working, no AT is needed.

14 Possible Consideration Conclusions 2.Assistive Technology is already being used or trialed. IEP team should write the AT into the IEP so it continues.

15 Consideration Conclusions 3.New Assistive Technology should be tried. Describe the features of the AT in the IEP so various specifics can be tried.

16 Identifying AT in the IEP AT Brand Name Boardmaker IntelliTools Kurzweil 3000 Fusion Big Key Keyboard How to Cite in the IEP Visual Strategies Multimedia Interactive Software Text Reading Software Portable Word Processor Alternative Keyboard

17 Consideration Conclusions 4.The IEP team does not have enough information to make a decision and need to request assistance to gather the proper information.

18 GPAT AT Consideration Guide



21 Assistive Technology Consideration Guide Adapted from GPAT, WATI, Kentucky AT Guidelines, and SETT


23 Extended time Focus still on mechanics, not legible Port. word processor with word prediction


25 A portable word processor will allow the student to focus on content and produce work in a reasonable amount of time, thus it will be trialed.

26 Writer Fusion This student struggles with writing due to his disability. He cannot write at the Same pace as other students and when he does produce written work, it is often not legible. The student is frustrated with his poor handwriting and providing extra time does not seem to help as the student is still behind. It is recommended that we try using a portable word processor. The Writer Fusion will be trialed and tracked to determine its effectiveness.

27 SETT Framework

28 Assistive Technology in IEPs SETT Framework –Student Abilities Disabilities –Environment Setting People –Task –Tools Designed to facilitate gathering student centered information Developed by Joy Zabala

29 SETT Framework Student –What does the student need to be able to do? –What are the student’s current abilities? –What are the student’s limitations? –What are the student’s special needs?

30 SETT Framework Environment –What materials and equipment are currently available in the environment? –What is the physical arrangement? Are there special concerns? –What is the instructional arrangement? Are there likely to be changes? –What supports are available to the student? –What resources are available to the people supporting the student?

31 SETT Framework Tasks –What activities take place in the environment? –What activities support the student’s curriculum? –How might these activities be modified to meet the student’s needs –How might technology support the student’s active participation in this activity? Tools –What tools might be used to invite increased student performance? –What tools might be considered when developing a system with special needs to carry out tasks? –How might these tools be tried in the customary environment?

32 Student can produce original thoughts and convey them articulately through speech. Student struggles with mechanical task writing due to physical disability. Also, a learning disability causes problems with spelling. The student will need help with producing written work in several classes including English, History, and Science. These classes are standard classrooms with moderate amounts of noise. He will also need help writing at home which is much quieter This student needs to be able to complete many written assignments in several different classes. These assignments very in length from short to large research papers. The student should be able to complete them in the same time as his peers This student will benefit from attempting word prediction software as well as speech recognition software

33 We will be trialing WordQ and Dragon Naturally Speaking The initial trial will be done in history class as the teacher works well with technology One MonthEffectiveness indicators include: -Completing full assignments in timely manner -Improving upon grades on written work in class. -Limited spelling errors -Clarity in writing

34 Assistive Technology in IEPs Where can AT be included in an IEP? –As part of an annual or short term goal Ex: Using an adapted computer keyboard, Rachel will type 12 words per minute with no errors over 10 or more consecutive trials –In the enumeration of supplementary aids and services necessary to maintain the student in the “least restrictive environment” Can be listed if AT device maintains LRE and lack of AT device causes removal to a more restrictive setting Ex: A student with multiple physical disabilities can make progress with a computer, but not without –In the list of related services necessary for the student to benefit from education Training on AT can be considered here if the device aids the student in educational success

35 Accommodations vs Modifications Accommodations –“leveling the playing field” –Providing access to a a test or an assignment –Examples Reading a test question for a non- reading test Using a calculator on non-basic math Modifications –“lowering the standards” –Fundamentally changing a test or an assignment –Examples Change length of assignments Change expectations

36 Assistive Technology in IEPs Who should be on an IEP team? –Student –Teacher –Parent –Physical Therapist –Occupational Therapist –Speech and Language Pathologist –Special Education Professional –AT Expert –Counselor –Medical Professional –Psychologist –Paraprofessional –IT Professional

37 Matching AT to an Individual

38 Why Do Users Abandon AT? 1.Change in users need 2.Easy attainment of the device 3.Poor performance of the device 4.Lack of consideration of the users opinion in the selection process

39 Why Do Users Abandon AT? For children, use and abandonment often tied to other people in their environment –Parents –Teachers –Therapists

40 Student Technology Match

41 What to Consider What factors should be considered when recommending AT devices? –Performance –Elegance/Simplicity –Reliability –Safety –Practicality –Aesthetics –Ease of use for adults –Cost Effectiveness –Personal Acceptance –Normalization –Family Acceptance –Culture

42 Continuous Evaluation Assessment is never finished –User needs change –Settings change Continuous assessment/evaluation ensures students needs are met

43 Questions?

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