Quick Helps: assistive technology
The IEP team shall consider
whether the child needs assistive technology devices and services. An assistive
technology device may be considered special education, a related service, or a supplementary aid and service. There are no-tech, low-tech, and high- tech options for the team to consider. It is the school district’s responsibility, not the parents, to acquire and maintain the assistive
technology device or service.
The term ‘assistive
technology device’ means 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 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 device.
The term ‘assistive
technology service’ means any service that directly assists a child with
a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.
(A) the evaluation of the needs of such child, including a functional evaluation of the child in the child’s customary
(B) purchasing, leasing,
or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by
(C) selecting, designing,
fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing assistive
(D) coordinating and using
other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as those associated with existing education
and rehabilitation plans and programs;
(E) training or technical assistance for such child, or, where appropriate,
the family of such child; and
(F) training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals providing education and rehabilitation
services), employers, or other individuals who provide services to, employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the
major life functions of such child.
When considering assistive
technology the IEP team must document the following:
1-What are the tasks and/or
activities that the student needs to do that s/he cannot do because of the disability?
2-What has been tried and
what were the results?
3-What evidence does the
team have to show what is and isn’t working?
4-Does the team have enough
information and knowledge to evaluate assistive technology device and services for this student? What is that information and knowledge that the team has or lack thereof?
5-Will the device or service
assist the student in benefiting from special education? How?
6-Is the use of the device
or service necessary to maintain the student in the least restrictive environment? Without
the device or service will the child be removed to a more restrictive environment?
7-Would the device or service
enable the student to meet his/her goal(s)? How?
8-Has there been a functional
evaluation of the student’s educational needs in the student’s customary environment(s)?
9-Does the student require
the use of the device or service at home to benefit from his/her education? Explain.
10-How does the device
or service provide functional assistance to the student?
Areas to be considered
for assistive technology are cognitive processing, levels of independence, self-care, handwriting, spelling, reading, math,
written expression, seeing. listening, seating/positioning, daily organization, communication, mobility, recreation.
The IEP team should also
document the training the student will receive and any training necessary for parent(s), teacher(s), or other support staff. In addition, the IEP team should document maintenance and replacement of the device
If the student needs the
device or service to access the curriculum and to benefit from his/her education then the IEP team should also document the
process that will be followed when the student is without the device or service.
The Partnership of State's
Committee offered to the NASDSE Board of Directors the following recommendations for essential competencies and basic knowledge
in the area of assistive technology services and devices:
technology including legal requirements, its purpose and functional application for the student's educational program.
of a variety of assistive technology devices/services and the ability to integrate technology into educational programs.
in their specialty area of assistive technology (e.g., access, alternative augmentative communication, computer-based instruction,
mobility, positioning, assistive listening and signaling devices, recreation/leisure/play, vision technology and environmental
control, and activities of daily living).
4-Demonstrate the ability
to apply discipline-specific knowledge regarding assistive technology.
5-Demonstrate the ability
to use appropriate assistive technology in a variety of educational settings.
6-Demonstrate the recognition
of the need for on going individual professional development and maintaining knowledge of merging technologies.
For more information:
Competencies for Assistive Technology Providers
Elementary Math Chart
Middle School Math Chart
Universal Design for Learning
(c) 2006 Claudia Lowe, B.S., J.D.
Educational Strategist & Consultant