Evaluation Process for Assistive Technology

IDEA requires that all students with disabilities be considered for assistive technology (AT) devices and services. (IDEA Part B. Sec.614)

To “consider” means to make a decision about whether or not there is a need for AT devices and services to meet a specific goal/objective the IEP. It suggests that at least one person on the IEP team have some knowledge about AT through a brief process. Below is a process that can be used in making the decision and implementing AT.

  1. Current interventions are working and nothing new is needed, including AT.
  2. AT is already being used and it works – continue as is.
  3. New AT should be tried. (The AT Checklist and AT Adaptations could be used in making this decision)
  4. Match the Individual with appropriate devices or services.
  5. Train student and staff in use of AT as needed.
  6. Implement the AT device or service.
  7. Monitor and Reporting Progress.
  8. If the team does not have enough information, refer the child for an AT evaluation. (Select here for making evaluation referrals to the Provo Assistive Technology Team (PATT)).
  9. For addition information on the referral process to the districts AT evaluation team select the PATT document. For referral to the Utah Assistive Technology Team (UATT) select UATT.

Whether AT is determined to be necessary or not, document the team decision on the IEP, as illustrated below:

The IEP Team: Assesses, Supports and Follows up on the Effectiveness of the Assistive Technology (AT) Implemented to Meet Student Needs

Each special educator has considered and determined the need for “assistive technology devices” whenever they have implemented the use of a calculator to aid a student. Likewise when Physical Therapy has been provided then “assistive technology services” are being utilized.

Most AT considerations are within the experience and training of every special educator. As with any other IEP team decision the team needs to support and follow up on the implementation of AT to be certain that it is meeting the needs of the student. When the consideration of support or follow up on a device or service goes beyond the IEP teams background then they can call upon the districts Technology team, the Provo Assisitive Technology Team (PATT).

The district employs a Technology Specialist with background in Special Education and Assistive Technology. The Technology Specialist works with a group of service providers (OT, PT, Speech and Language Therapists, etc.) to act as a resource to provide suggestions to district special education teams.

Based on the student’s needs and input (A completed AT Referral Considerations form, etc.) from the IEP Team, the PATT will develop a plan for assessment, implementation and follow up of AT devices and services. The plan (A completed AT Support and Follow-up Plan form, which is filled out by a member of the IEP Team in conjunction with the AT Specialist,), may include any or all of the following: trying different types of assessment tools, different hardware and/or software, assessing various access methods and looking at various modifications or curriculum strategies.

The approach in conducting assessments or evaluations is more collaborative than prescriptive. We ask that one or more instructional personnel from the school site to be involved in providing information and invite them to observe the session. At the completion of each assessment, a report is written to provide input for the IEP team’s decisions about how AT may fit into the context of the student’s individual educational program (IEP). This report includes specific suggestions for devices and/or services, strategies for their use by the student, as well as a follow up plan to determine the effectiveness of the AT.

The key point is that the IEP team will provide services to the student. The PATT acts as a resource to assist the school team.

How Do I Get Assistance from the PATT?

In order to schedule an assessment, the IEP Team needs to a complete a AT Referral Considerations form, which can be downloaded. If it needs to be mailed or faxed to you e-mail us at vanessara@provo.edu.

The PATT will follow up prior to an evaluation by asking for copies of any other documentation, such as their current IEP, that could help us in preparing for the assessment. Appointments are scheduled in the order of paperwork received. In case of high demand for these services, there will be a waiting list. We appreciate your patience.