Assistive Technology (AT)
Assistive Technology (AT) Team
The district’s AT Team works collaboratively to support staff members through the consideration process. The team also provides support to staff members with due process questions regarding Assistive Technology. The team reviews Assistive Technology Request forms for accurate IEP documentation to ensure that we are in compliance with due process rules and regulations.
Assistive Technology Device
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. (B) EXCEPTION.—The term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such device.
Assistive Technology Service
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. Such term includes:
- the evaluation of the needs of such child, including a functional evaluation of the child in the child’s customary environment;
- purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by such child
- selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology devices
- coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as those associated with existing education and rehabilitation plans and programs
- training or technical assistance for such child, or, where appropriate, the family of such child;
- 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.
Who Needs Assistive Technology?
The federal requirements are clear-AT consideration must occur for all students who have an IEP. It is not based on any preconceived ideas about disabilities. It is also possible that a student with a disability may need several types of AT to meet their educational needs, based on their IEP goals and objectives.
Considering AT for a Student?
What is meant by “consideration” when discussing AT?
“Consideration” is a process and it should not be confused with an “evaluation”. Simply put, consideration is a relatively short process in which IEP team members use information analysis and critical decision making to determine student needs for AT. Although IDEA does not have specific language regarding “consideration”, the Minnesota Department of Children, Families & Learning has adopted this term to conform with the SETT framework. This provides a research-based framework from which planning teams collect information about the:
- student’s strengths, abilities and skills,
- environments in which the student functions,
- general education curriculum needs (tasks) to meet IEP goals, and
- information about possible assistive technology services and devices to achieve these goals (tools)
Accessible Educational Materials (AEM)
The AT/AEM vision for District 742 is to provide educational access for all students, ensuring that they are challenged, engaged and have increased opportunities to access core instruction. The AT/AEM Team’s focus is to provide district-wide support to create and implement an efficient and sustainable system.
Accessible educational materials, or AEM, are materials and technologies usable for learning across the widest range of individual variability, regardless of format or features. Whether a material or technology is designed from the start to be accessible for all learners or is made accessible for learners with disabilities, it is considered AEM.
Who Needs AEM?
Any student who is unable to:
- read traditional grade level print instructional materials
- at a sufficient rate
- with adequate comprehension
- to complete academic tasks successfully
- relative to same-age peers
- across environments and tasks