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Assistive Technology Assessment & Implementation. Your Hosts From Parents Helping Parents iTECH Center…. Debbie Drennan– AT Specialist and *Leading Expert in the AT World Janet Nunez – AT Specialist and “’What If?’ Girl” of the AT world (Special Guests: Agnes & Gladys)

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your hosts from parents helping parents itech center
Your HostsFrom Parents Helping ParentsiTECH Center…
  • Debbie Drennan– AT Specialist and *Leading Expert in the AT World
  • Janet Nunez – AT Specialist and “’What If?’ Girl” of the AT world
  • (Special Guests: Agnes & Gladys)

*Based on peer-review

objectives of presentation
Objectives of Presentation

Attendee will learn about:

  • The differences between consideration & assessment
  • Best practices regarding AT assessments
  • The elements of a quality AT assessment report
  • Resources available to assist teams with assessment and implementation process

Agnes & Gladys

Two mature women sit facing each other in a living room. They are wearing head scarves and gaudy jewelry. The woman on the right appears to be talking while the woman on the left holds a funnel to her ear and appears to be listening intently. A large jar of pickles can be seen on a table in the background.

quick review
Quick Review!
  • IEP consideration process-
    • What does the law say about consideration of AT?
    • Can you name one framework for consideration?
    • Four outcomes of consideration


  • No Tech:
  • Low Tech:
  • Mid Tech:
  • High Tech:
consideration steps
Consideration Steps
  • Review present levels.
  • Develop annual goals.
  • Identify tasks necessary to accomplish goals.
  • Determine the difficulty of the student’s tasks or barriers to success.
  • Identify appropriate supports and service, including AT.
where does the iep team start
Where Does the IEP Team Start?
  • The least complex solution that will remove barriers to achievement should be a first consideration.
  • Focus on the least restrictive solution from which meaningful benefit can be derived.



Accessible Technology Assessment: Student, Environment, Tasks and Tools (SETT)

IEP Goal area being addressed:

Trial Period recommended? No _________ Yes __________ If yes, complete and attach Trial Period Plan form.

consideration outcomes
Consideration Outcomes
  • AT is not required
  • AT is required
  • AT is required but trials are needed to determine appropriate AT
  • Team needs more information
what is the difference between consideration assessment
What is the Difference between Consideration & Assessment?
  • Consideration
    • Happens during IEP team meeting
  • Assessment
    • May be a result of consideration
    • May be result of parent request

Why is AT Assessment Important?

  • AT Abandonment: Matching Persons with Technology study 1999
  • Funding source- some require a full AT assessment
who should conduct at assessment
Who Should Conduct AT Assessment?
  • Depends on goals being addressed
  • Funding source requirements
  • In Education law, no specific requirements noted except that assessor must be “qualified.”
assessment best practices
Assessment Best Practices

Procedures of assessment clearly defined

Team approach

Student and family involvement

Conducted in the student’s customary environment



Recommendations based on data

Reassessment as needs change

Quality Indicators for AT


assessment goals
Assessment Goals

Does the type of technology we are trying actually do what we thought it would do for the child?

Which of the technology solutions tried is most effective?

If AT tried includes a wide range in cost, is there data to justify the selection of one of the more expensive options?

Bowser & Reed, 1998 – Education Tech Points



Accessible Technology Assessment: Student, Environment, Tasks and Tools (SETT)

IEP Goal area being addressed:

Trial Period recommended? No _________ Yes __________ If yes, complete and attach Trial Period Plan form.

assessment process
Assessment Process

  • Identify and define problem
  • Gather information– (SETT process, student records, interviews, observation)
  • Generate and prioritize AT solutions (no-tech to high-tech)
  • Develop an AT plan
  • Conduct AT trials and collect data
  • Formulate report/recommendations
  • Document in IEP


acquiring trial equipment
Acquiring Trial Equipment
  • Vendors
  • AT Network: AT Device Lending Library
  • Public Library
  • Check within school districts/SELPA
assessment tools
Assessment Tools
  • WATI-
  • Oregon Technology Access Program

  • UKAT toolkit-
  • Don Johnston Inc.- assess writing issues
  • American Foundation for the Blind


TAM – Technology & Media Division

AT Fans

Quick Wheel

AT Planner

stages assessment software www intellitools com
Stages Assessment
  • Assesses learner’s cognitive, access & language abilities
  • Addresses alternate assessment needs
compass www infogrip com
  • Computer/Device access assessment tool
    • Assess over three input domains
      • Pointing
      • Text entry
      • Switch use

How Do You Know It?

How Can You Show It?

Created by:

Penny Reed

Gayl Bowser

Jane Korsten

Graph chart

trial period forms
Trial Period Forms
  • Accessible Technology Trial Period Plan-
  • Choose and Trial Assistive Technology
four ways to gather info
Four Ways to Gather Info:


Review finished products

Observe student’s performance

Video-tape student

When is comes to data, generally more is better!

Reed, P., Bowser, G., & Korsten, J (2002). Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative


how will performance change
How Will Performance Change?
  • Quality
  • Quantity
  • Speed, accuracy, spontaneity, frequency, duration

Collecting data on the use of any AT without adequate training is NOT useful!

data answers
Data Answers ..
  • What AT is required
  • Does the tool make a difference?
  • Is the AT necessary for FAPE?
  • Is AT required for equal access under 504?
  • Must the AT be provided outside the school?
elements of a quality assessment report
Elements of a Quality Assessment Report
  • Background info
  • Reason for assessment
  • Process/procedure
  • Review of records
  • Interviews & Observations
  • Trials & data-collection
  • Data analysis/summary
  • Recommendations- features of AT tools needed
outcomes from data
Outcomes From Data
  • AT made a difference
  • AT did not make a difference
  • Not enough data to make a decision – more should be collected
  • Data uncovered unexpected information. Team may need to frame new question.


what do these agencies need to see in a report
What do these agencies need to see in a report?
  • MediCal:
  • CCS:
  • Private Insurance:
  • Regional Centers:
after the assessment
After the Assessment:

Consider data collected from trial period or recommendations from team/formal assessment.

Discuss modifications, strategies, training needs and related services.

Reach consensus.

Record description of AT in IEP.


develop implementation plan
Develop Implementation Plan

Assign responsibilities to team members


Equipment management issues

Assign timelines

Record student performance

Monitor plan for success

Periodic review


implementation team considerations
ImplementationTeam Considerations
  • Commitment to role & responsibility
  • Training
  • Monitoring Effectiveness
  • Communication between team members



Identify source of equipment and costs

Order equipment

Plan for training as needed

Set up equipment

Establish technical support system


student considerations
Student Considerations

Which tasks?


How often?

Training needs?

Home use?


implementation forms
Implementation Forms
  • AT Implementation Form:
  • Assistive Technology Implementation Plan
periodic review
Periodic Review

Is the AT being used?

Is the AT functioning as expected?

Is a change needed in the current AT plan?


systems change
Systems Change
  • Provide staff support and training in using a consistent process to determine AT needs
  • Provide staff training in writing AT into IEP, IFSP, 504 and transition plans
  • Release staff to attend AT trainings and conferences
  • Develop district budgets or locate funding to establish AT library or evaluation center
were you paying attention
Were You Paying Attention?

Time for a quiz! Raise your hand if you have an answer!


  • Wisconsin AT Initiative
  • : Oregon Technology Access Program
  • : University of Kentucky AT Toolkit
  • Maryland ATN AT Cycle
  • : Quality Indicators in AT
  • : National AT Research Institute
parents helping parents itech services
Parents Helping Parents & iTECH Services
  • Trainings
  • Techsplorations
    • T.I.P program (Early Start ages 0-3)
  • Consultations
  • AAC/Communication expertise
  • Information and referral
  • Toy-switch surgeon
  • Member, AT Network of California
  • Member, Alliance for Technology Access (855)727-5775 toll free