SD308 is committed to providing tools for all students to access and use when needed. We follow a UDL (Universal Design for Learning) approach and have tools and resources for all students to access. In special education, every team considers the need for Assistive Technology (AT) for all students with IEPs (and 504 plans). The school team considers tools and supports that the student may need to promote independence in their area(s) of need in relation to the student's IEP goals.
What you'll find on this page:
- What is Assistive Technology (AT)
- What is the process for considering AT or referring a student for AT?
- Training resources for AT students and families
What is Assistive Technology (AT)?
IDEA 2004 defines Assistive Technology as devices and services. An assistive technology device, or tool, is “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 a child with a disability. The term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted or the replacement of such a device.” (32 CFR 300.5) An assistive technology service is “any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition or use of an assistive technology device.” (32 CRF 300.6)
What is the process for considering AT or referring a student for AT?
It is important to think of AT services in the school setting not as a thing but as a process.
Assistive Technology must be considered annually for all students with an IEP, but any student may benefit from using assistive technology. District staff are knowledgeable about the resources available and have access to tools in all of the schools. If teams need additional support for individual students, they contact the Assistive Technology Team. This initiates the process of further compiling information from the school staff, parents, and the student.
As Assistive Technology is considered for students within the school district, the IEP team (including the family) will first review current information about student. At this point in the process, the IEP team looks at information about the student’s performance in the classroom, both academically and functionally (how they do on assessments, as well as, how they function in the classroom), any modifications and accommodations that are already being being used, any assistive technology currently used and any other information available about the student.
Next, the team will develop the student's IEP goals and objectives. After developing the goals, the team can begin to consider any modifications, accommodations, or necessary technology-based supports, such as AT, that the student may need in order to meet the IEP goals.
At this time, the team should ask themselves, "Can the student meet IEP goals and objectives and make reasonable progress in the curriculum without any technology-based compensatory support?"
Here is where the team may decide that an Assistive Technology tool may benefit the student. There may be sufficient knowledge to begin matching the student's needs within their environment to potential tools. This is the main focus of AT - to match the students’ needs with an AT tool to enhance their access to the curriculum and optimize performance through the Assistive Technology framework known as the SETT (Student, Environment, Task, Tools) process. Students that are new to AT, may complete a trial - the ultimate goal being to include AT in the student's IEP or 504.
If the team isn't sure what tool is best for a student, if a student would benifit from the use of AT, or needs support with the AT process, they can reach out to the AT Specialist and the student can potentially undergo an AT assessment.
Did you forget something from your Assistive Technology Training?
Dr. Watt Mrs. Richmiller-Zinn
Looking for some resources that may have been covered in your initial family and/or student training? Visit the CUSD 308 Assisitve Technology Resource site by clicking here to find refresher resources on:
- Learning Ally
- Read & Write for Google
- KAMI PDF Editor
- Accessibilty Features of the Chromebook
- AAC Strategies (general)
- Cool Google Chrome Extensions