Monday, October 28, 2013

AT Consideration Process

A Blogger's Insight 

AT Consideration Process 

As a student is first diagnosed with a disability, the main job of the special education teacher is to formulate and Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for the student.  However before the school can do this, there is a procedure they must follow.  In order to successfully design a student's IEP, there are seven steps which need to be met: 
1. Prereferral
2. Referral
3. Identification
4. Eligibility
5. Development of IEP
6. Implementation of IEP
7. Evaluations and Reviews
For more information on each of the seven steps of formulating an IEP,  CLICK HERE

At this point, you may be wondering why we are discussing an IEP when this blog is based around assistive technology.  I promise it will all make sense! As a student's individual plan is being discussed and created, members of the IEP team are REQUIRED to consider assistive technologies that my benefit the students plan in any way. This is known as the AT consideration process, which is divided into five steps.
STEP 1:  
The team reviews student’s present level of academic achievement and functional performance.  During this time, the team must also investigate the role AT may have in helping the student performance during instruction and assessment.  Furthermore, the team must identify the following:
-  The student's functional area of concern
 -  Which barriers the student may be facing
 -  The strengths of the student that the team can apply and build upon
-  Has the student used assistive technology before? 
The team is required to review the goals and objectives stated in the child's IEP, in which the student is able to achieve in a time frame of one year.  The goals of the student are based off of their abilities and strengths.  Curriculum, state standards, and skills should be taken into consideration.  A goal does not have to be designed to address the use of AT. 
Step 3 is designed to help consider the academic, as well as, non-academic tasks/activities the student will need to completing to achieve the goals and objectives developed in stage two. 
Non-academic tasks = behavior, daily living,
 communication, interaction, positioning, etc.  
Also during this period, the IEP team will explore any environmental challenges or academic barriers the student may face while attempting to accomplish the designated goals.  
The responsibility for the team in step four is to consider, any and all, forms of effective supports and materials that may aid in the success of the student and increase the likelihood of accomplishing their goals and/or objectives. 
Rate the current independence level of the student. 
                               Discuss the desired independence level of student.
Based on the information received from steps 1 - 5, does the student require AT support? To address this question, the team should ask the following questions: 
-  Are there AT devices and/or services that could help the student participate and progress in the general education curriculum and meet his or her goals?
-  Does the student need an AT device and/or service to participate in nonacademic activities?  
-  Can the student participate successfully without AT? 
Finally, once the following questions are addressed, the IEP needs to brainstorm No/Low- to High-Tech TOOLS and STRATEGIES to complete tasks across environments.

Throughout the whole consideration process, the family is able to put in their valuable insight on the child's strengths, needs, abilities, and desires relating to AT devices - and much more. 
Once the AT consideration process is complete and the IEP team chooses an appropriate device, the next job of the team is to trial the AT and gather data and monitoring process.  This is not just completed for the student's IEP, but may also be for the manufacturing company of the AT device, parents and administration.  The progress monitoring data should be collected and compiled over a period of time and within different environments.  The results should address how the assistive technology is implemented and whether or not it successfully impacts the student's goals and objectives. 

I know this was a lot of information, however, I hope the breakdown of information has been informative, useful, and understandable.  Stay tuned for more on the AT and Writing Process!


Smith, D. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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