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STATE OF CONNECTICT STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. Connecticut Assistive Technology Guidelines. Thomas Boudreau MA – Education Consultant CSDE Smita Worah Ph.D.– Consultant SERC. History of the Guidelines. 3.5 Years in the making… 36 - Professional of multiple disciplines

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connecticut assistive technology guidelines



Connecticut Assistive Technology Guidelines

Thomas Boudreau MA – Education Consultant CSDE

Smita Worah Ph.D.– Consultant SERC

history of the guidelines
History of the Guidelines

3.5 Years in the making…

  • 36 - Professional of multiple disciplines
  • 6 - Writing Groups
  • Several Editors
history of the guidelines1
History of the Guidelines
  • Update the AT Guidelines of Connecticut
  • Enrich them with current information and technology
  • Best determine how to foster the participation and utilization of AT services and devices
  • Deliver the greatest impact through a collaborative effort and across environments
history of the guidelines2
History of the Guidelines

AT Guidelines

  • Facilitate a review of the process
  • Give structure to differing stages of development
  • Clarify misconceptions
  • Offer examples of best practices and the AT continuum
history of the guidelines3
History of the Guidelines
  • Give direction to ensure that accommodations that are needed to meet goals are attainable.
  • Help to define the process for considering, implementing, and evaluating technologies that equalize the learning experience for students of all abilities.
at guidelines
AT Guidelines
  • “…with current information and technology..”
  • In the 21st Century …
  • Technology moves quickly…
  • We recognize as we publish these guidelines – portions may need updating
at guidelines1
AT Guidelines
  • Intended to be “interactive”
  • Both a web-based document for ease of review and a PDF (for printing)
  • Web-based information – immediate access to websites
  • Hyperlinked to sections and appendices
  • E-PUB available

AT Guidelines

general overview section 1
General Overview Section 1
  • Assist educators, parents, advocates and students to understand the legislation and rights of students with a disability regarding the use and availability of technology.
  • Provide a framework for the process of delivering AT services for students with disabilities primarily in the educational setting.
section 1 ages 3 21 chapters
Section 1: Ages 3 – 21Chapters
  • 13 chapters
    • Examples:
      • Laws and Policies
      • Assessment/Evaluation
      • Funding
      • AT: Documentation, Implementation and Effectiveness
      • NIMAS/NIMAC and CT AIM
    • Acronym Page, FAQ, Resources, Case Studies, Glossary and Appendices (1-12)
general overview section 2
General Overview Section 2
  • Provide guidance to service providers to ensure that all infants and toddlers who require AT (as indicated under IDEA Part C), receive the appropriate devices.
  • Assists parents in understanding how assistive technology is incorporated into early intervention (EI) services in Connecticut.
section 2 infants toddlers chapters
Section 2: Infants & ToddlersChapters
  • 11 Chapters
    • Examples:
      • Consideration of Assistive Technology
      • Documentation of Assistive Technology and the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
      • Funding for Assistive Technology
    • Resources and Appendices (1-8)
highlights of section one two
Highlights of Section One & Two
  • Differences
    • IFSP verses the IEP
    • Addressing elements with the Educational System verses the Early Intervention , birth to three and service providers
  • Similarities
    • Documentation
    • Assessment and Evaluations
  • Common Features
    • AT Considerations
    • AT Implementation and Effectiveness
    • AT Continuum
    • Definitions
common themes
Common Themes
  • Assistive Technology (AT) is a broad and inclusive term that covers everything from specialized drinking cups to wheelchairs; from Velcro to computers.
  • Range on a continuum : low, mid and cutting-edge high-tech tools.
  • According to IDEA - “Each public agency must ensure that assistive technology devices or assistive technology services” be provided to students with disabilities.
using at
Using AT
  • Identified infants and toddlers must have access to AT, so that they have school readiness skills.
  • Students with disabilities need supports to access the general curriculum, to participate and make progress

Through the use of AT ….

assist in ensuring that they are career and college ready.

at device
AT Device
  • An assistive technology device 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 children with disabilities (IDEA 2004).
  • The type of AT device depends upon:
    • The abilities and needs of the individual
    • The environment (e.g., an electronic communication device for the classroom and a picture communication system for the cafeteria)
    • Demands of the task (e.g., a wheelchair for mobility and a text-to-speech device for reading).
at services
AT Services
  • An assistive technology service means any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an AT device (IDEA 2004).
  • It is important to recognize the equal importance that the law places on the actual AT device(s) that the student needs and proper AT Service provisions are rendered.

Ensuring that both accesses and benefits from needed AT is delivered.

at in general curriculum
AT in General Curriculum

Anything that helps a child with a disability to perform a skill or participate in an activity could be AT.

Most Importantly

  • AT enabling students to access, participate in, and progress in the general curriculum.

AT Guidelines

“GOING BEYOND – Page 8 ...”

beyond page 8

Specialized Instruction

General Education

  • IEP
career and college ready
Career and College-Ready
  • AT elements bridge the next phases that the student may encounter.
  • Completing transition assessments, for the tools that are needed upon graduation will not necessarily be the same.

NOTE: Very important to inform families and students in cases that the student is using school-purchased devices. These will need to be returned upon graduation, unless arrangements are made to buy the device from the school.

access participation and progress
Access, Participation and Progress
  • The term “special education” means specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents or guardians, to address the unique needs of a child with a disability and to ensure access of the child to the general curriculum, so that the child can meet the educational standards …
access participation and progress1
Access, Participation and Progress
  • Enable school districts to make informed decisions about the AT considerations, implementation, and evaluation for their students, factoring in administrative support and professional development.
  • Assist educators, parents, and advocates to understand the legislation and rights of students with a disability regarding the use and availability of technology.
access participation and progress2
Access, Participation and Progress
  • A framework for making decisions about the AT needs of students with disabilities.
  • Outlining procedures for making initial consideration decisions, evaluation, documentation, implementation, and evaluation of effectiveness.
at services1
AT Services
  • Schools may have to make special accommodations - to allow students with disabilities to have access to the full range of programs and activities available to nondisabled students.
  • Assistive Technology supports/provides:

* ACCESS to programs

* PARTICIPATION in activities

* PROGRESS in school

and throughout life.

at guidelines2
AT Guidelines


at continuum
AT Continuum
  • Low Tech
  • Mid Tech
  • High Tech
continuum from no low tech to high tech adapted from tatn



*Some Maintenance

*Complex Electronics

*Little Maintenance

*Some training

*More training

*Limited/No Electronics

*More Electronics

*More Maintenance

Continuum from No/Low Tech to High Tech(adapted from TATN)

No/Low Tech

Mid Tech

High Tech


SERC 2011

at devices in the at continuum
AT Devices in theAT Continuum

Assistive Technology

High Tech

Mid Tech

Low Tech

common features quality indicators for assistive technologies qiat
Common Features: Quality Indicators for Assistive Technologies (QIAT)
  • Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology
    • Set ofindicators to guide AT service providers as they evaluate and improve services
    • Were developed, revised, and validated by professionals representing various perspectives and roles within the field of Assistive Technology
    • Embedded and used through out the guidelines


  • The QIAT addresses eight areas of service delivery:
    • Consideration of the need for assistive technology during the IEP meeting.
    • Evaluation of the need for assistive technology.
    • Including assistive technology in the IEP.
    • Implementing the use of assistive technology.
    • Evaluating the effectiveness of assistive technology use.
    • Transitioning with assistive technology.
    • Administrative support for assistive technology services.
    • Professional development and training in assistive technology
essence of qiat
Essence of QIAT
  • Improve the educational achievement of students with disabilities by enabling districts to evaluate and develop their AT services
  • A multidisciplinary team that includes administration, professionals from both the general and special fields and family members collaborate to provide AT services
essence of qiat1
Essence of QIAT
  • Eight areas that are important to the development and delivery AT services include:
    • Consideration of AT Needs,
    • Assessment of AT Needs,
    • AT in the IEP,
    • AT Implementation,
    • Evaluation of Effectiveness of AT,
    • AT in Transition,
    • Administrative Support for AT,
    • AT Professional Development
consideration of at
Consideration of AT
  • Consideration of AT prior to Evaluation
    • Process begins with the PPT/IEP team reviewing information about the student
      • Issues that a student may have in accessing the curriculum, and participation in and progress toward completing educational goals
    • Who can complete the Consideration Checklist
consideration of at1
Consideration of AT
  • Match the AT device with the strengths and needs of the student
  • Elements of consideration
  • Consideration Outcomes
  • Document the Considerations of AT in the IEP
consideration of at2
Consideration of AT
  • Match the AT device with the strengths and needs of the student
  • Elements of consideration
    • Post secondary outcome goals
  • Consideration Outcomes
  • Document the Considerations of AT in the IEP
at guidelines3
AT Guidelines

“Right tool for the Job”

assessment of at needs
Assessment of AT Needs
  • Background Information
  • Collaborative Team Process
  • Student Observations and Trials
  • Recommendations to PPT/IEP Team
  • Use AT in all environments
    • Academic and non-academic
    • Home
    • Community
    • Vocational
at transition
AT & Transition
  • Continuity of AT uses
    • From class to class
    • From Elementary to Middle to High School
      • Post Secondary Goals
    • Preparation for after school
      • Post Secondary Education
      • Employment
      • Independent Living
beyond page 8 and page 11
BEYOND Page 8 and Page 11
  • Elements of AT should be delineated throughout the IEP
  • Correlated between page 8 and page 11 – with a “YES” marked for Assistive Technology
  • Should be identified in each section of the document as much as possible
    • “Special Factors” page 10
    • Outlined in “Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance”
    • Written in as part/to accomplish goal
    • The Transition Section on Page 6
evaluation of effectiveness
Evaluation of Effectiveness
  • Does the AT have an impact on access, participation and progress?
    • Ensure making progress
      • Effectiveness is determined by the impact it has upon the quality of life of the user.
      • The degree the AT is fostering the participation, independence, and self-confidence of the user.
    • Team can continue to examine the device in terms of its efficiency, usefulness, and availability for the student in order to make progress.
universal design for learning udl
Universal Design for Learning(UDL)
  • Based on the premise that learning should be designed to provide access to the curriculum to the greatest number of students possible to the greatest extent possible.
  • UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that works for everyone—

  • Multiple Means of:

Representation: present information and content in different ways to help reach the greatest number of students possible.

Action and Expression: give students the opportunity to express what they know in a variety of ways.

Engagement: stimulate interest and motivation for learning by tapping into student’s interests, likes and dislikes and then uses this information to inform and shape instruction.

at team
AT Team
  • Providing sustainable AT services requires
    • A multidisciplinary AT Team including family
    • Commitment from administration
    • On going professional development
professional development and at
Professional Development and AT
  • Continuous Professional Development
    • Enable individuals to meet present needs
    • Increase their knowledge of AT for use in the future
    • Occur frequently enough to address new and emerging technologies and practices
    • Be available on a repetitive and continuous schedule.
navigation through the years with at
Navigation through the years with AT
  • AT used in one service should be provided in the next … birth to three, to school, to graduation ..
  • Guidelines help to navigate and ensure that supports are identified and remain seamlessly in place.
  • Guidelines to navigate the system.





accessible instructional material
Accessible Instructional Material
  • Technology is the delivery system upon which the content is presented to the student
  • The information is the content
ct aim
  • The program /purpose is to "...(4) provide accessible educational materials to children with disabilities in a timely manner."
    • Supporting student engagement by presenting information in a variety of formats and allowing them to access and express what they know in different ways
    • Not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs. (
ct aim1
  • Identification of Need
    • Collaborative Teams
      • Access to AIM Navigator
  • Selection
    • Print Materials used in Curriculum (make a list)
    • Consideration (context and environment)
    • Format Type
      • Access to AIM Explorer
ct aim2
  • Acquisition
    • Braille
    • Large Print
    • Digital (Bookshare, Publishers)
    • Audio (Learning Ally, commercial audio books)
  • Use
    • Training
    • Instructional Strategies
    • Support Services
ct aim3
  • Use
    • Access to:
    • AT Guidelines
    • AIM Products Feature Chart that compares features available in commercial software programs.
    • The features are organized into six categories: Text File Formats Supported, Navigation, Visual Supports, Reading Supports, File Managing Supports, and Learning Supports.
ct aim4
  • FAQ
  • Contacts
    • Feedback
    • Hotline
  • Resources
    • TA
    • Links
    • CT Training

AT Guidelines

final thought
Final Thought

“The future holds the promise of universal design for tools to assist the learning of all students.

Access to AT will enable children and students with disabilities to participate and make progress …

allowing them to become as independent as possible, making a lasting difference in their own lives, freeing them to move forward with fewer boundaries and providing a gateway to greater opportunity. ”– AT Guidelines 2013

contact information
Contact Information

Thomas S. Boudreau

Education Consultant

Bureau of Special Education (CSDE)

Smita Worah


State Education Resource Center (SERC)