AT: It's the Law

The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), a federal law on special education, requires schools to consider a student’s possible need for assistive technology devices and services whenever an IEP is developed. In addition, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act require schools to provide assistive technology for students with disabilities, if needed to assure equal access to the school’s programs and services.


AT Consideration

Consider what assistive technology, if anything, the student needs to make effective progress and to receive FAPE.

There are four possible outcomes when AT is discussed:

1. The team has considered AT and has determined none is needed for the student to make effective progress and to receive FAPE.
2. The team has considered AT and what is already in place is working effectively.
3. The team has considered AT and will trial new options.
4. The team has considered AT and needs more information to make an appropriate decision.

NOTE: Assistive Technology assessments are typically reserved for students with significant needs. If you are unclear about whether to request a consultation or an assessment speak with the Assistive Technology Specialist first.

Important Note:

  • AT consideration is an ongoing and collaborative process.
  • There is no standardized AT testing.
  • A student does not have assistive technology “skills” and is successful if they make progress toward their IEP goals and objectives.

The SETT Framework

The SETT Framework is a guideline for gathering data in order to make effective assistive technology decisions. Consider the Student, the Environment and the Tasks before making recommendations of Tools needed for the student to successfully complete the tasks.

  • This process is used for both consultations and assessments.
  • AT consideration is an ongoing and collaborative process.
  • There is no standardized testing for assistive technology.

Please see JoyZabala.com for more information.

Updated 2/3/17