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Assessment Issues AT for LD


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Assessment Issues AT for LD

  1. 1. Assistive Technology Assessment Process Bonnie Young Wendy Homlish AT Consultants Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21
  2. 2. What is Assistive Technology? <ul><li>A system of tools which match a person’s needs, abilities, and tasks </li></ul>
  3. 3. Legal Definition of AT Assistive Technology Device 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 the functional capabilities of children with disabilities. Assistive Technology Service Any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device .
  4. 4. <ul><li>When used by students with disabilities, AT </li></ul><ul><li>facilitates the use of classroom materials and technology so that all students (both identified and non-identified) can better access the general curriculum. </li></ul><ul><li>offers alternate ways to participate in activities for all students, to move throughout the environment and to access and communicate information. </li></ul><ul><li>provides the means to modify classroom tasks for students with varying abilities, </li></ul><ul><li>can change a child's life by increasing learning opportunities and making it possible to demonstrate knowledge and skills </li></ul>
  5. 5. The BIG Questions <ul><li>Which students need assistive technology? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Those for whom AT is necessary to receive FAPE and to make progress in their educational program </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What kind of technology is needed? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Determined on a case by case basis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Related directly to what is needed for a student to receive FAPE </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. IEP and Consideration Every IEP Team is now required to &quot;consider&quot; the child's need for Assistive Technology for every child in special education, as part of the Special Factors requirement in IDEA '97. IDEA '97 states: (3) DEVELOPMENT OF IEP-        B) CONSIDERATION OF SPECIAL FACTORS-            (v) consider whether the child requires assistive technology devices and services.
  7. 7. Conclusion Options - Consideration 1). Current interventions (whatever they may be) are working and nothing new is needed, including AT. 2). AT is already being used (or there has been a trial with AT) so that we know that it does work. In that case the IEP Team should write the specific AT into the IEP to insure that it continues to be available for the child.
  8. 8. 3). New AT should be tried. In that case, the IEP Team will need to describe in the IEP the type of AT to be tried, including the features they think may help, such as &quot;having the computer speak the text as the student writes&quot;. 4). Team will find that they simply do not know enough to make a decision. In this case, they will need to gather more information. That could be a simple process of calling someone for help, or going to get some print, disk, or online resources to help them better &quot;consider&quot; what AT might be useful. It could also be an indication that they need to schedule (or refer for) an assessment of the child's need for assistive technology.
  9. 9. Consideration: Primary Questions What do we want the child to do that he cannot do because of his/her disability? What has been tried to meet the need? YES Is it working? Documentation/ Evidence to support NO What was tried? How long? How was it tried? NO YES What will be tried? Conditions? Environments? Criteria ? Ongoing process Influence – change in environment, needs, skills, technology Does the team have knowledge/resources re: technology, interventions, Strategies, modifications? Seek additional assistance
  10. 10. Common Errors in Consideration <ul><li>AT is considered for students with severe disabilities only. </li></ul><ul><li>No one on the IEP is knowledgeable regarding assistive technology. </li></ul><ul><li>Team does not use a consistent process based on the student, environments, and tasks in order to make decisions. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Common Errors… <ul><li>Consideration of technology is limited to those items which are familiar to team members or are available in the district. </li></ul><ul><li>Team members fail to consider access to the curriculum and IEP goals in determining whether AT is needed in order for a student to receive FAPE. </li></ul><ul><li>If AT is not needed, team fails to document the basis for its decision. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Students without IEPs A student with a disability that does not require special education would not be protected under IDEA. However, he or she would be protected by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. This act prohibits discrimination in providing educational services to students with disabilities, whether they are in regular or special education.
  13. 13. Assistive vs. Instructional Tech <ul><li>Difference in GOALS </li></ul><ul><li>Assistive technology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Goal is to provide ACCESS to the curriculum (NOT necessarily to teach or instruct) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Instructional Technology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Goal is to develop specific academic skills (reading development, math skills, etc.) </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Component Areas of AT <ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Computer Access </li></ul><ul><li>Mobility </li></ul><ul><li>Vision </li></ul><ul><li>Hearing </li></ul><ul><li>Access to the Curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental Control </li></ul><ul><li>Recreation and Leisure </li></ul>
  15. 15. Definition of Assessment <ul><li>“ Assistive Technology assessment is a flexible, collaborative decision-making process in which families, professionals, and friends repeatedly revise their decisions and reach consensus about the ever-changing abilities, needs and expectations of the person with a disability.” </li></ul><ul><li>adapted from S. Bagnato, Children’s Team Work </li></ul>
  16. 16. AT Assessment: Effective Practices <ul><li>Uses team approach </li></ul><ul><li>Fosters family partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>Considers ongoing life planning </li></ul><ul><li>Occurs in a local setting (“customary environment”) </li></ul><ul><li>Is a continual process </li></ul><ul><li>Targets the student’s natural environments </li></ul><ul><li>Is vested in team competency </li></ul><ul><li>Allows for practical follow through </li></ul>
  17. 17. Getting Started <ul><li>Identify individual’s local support team </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Should include: parent, teacher(s), LEA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MAY include: student, SLP, OT, psychologist, guidance counselor, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Discuss desired outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Seek administrative support </li></ul><ul><li>Explore A. T. Assessment Process </li></ul><ul><li>Investigate resources </li></ul><ul><li>Develop on-going action plans </li></ul>
  18. 18. Purpose of local teams: <ul><li>Identify individual’s desired outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Identify individual’s needs and abilities </li></ul><ul><li>Share information and decision-making </li></ul><ul><li>Design and coordinate training plans </li></ul><ul><li>Design and coordinate implementation plans </li></ul><ul><li>Document and monitor implementation </li></ul>
  19. 19. Guidelines for Assessment of Assistive Technology Needs <ul><li>Identification of Daily Needs </li></ul><ul><li>Gather Background Information </li></ul><ul><li>Student Observation and Interview </li></ul><ul><li>Motor Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive/Sensory Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Language Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Feature Match Process </li></ul><ul><li>Trial Runs/Mock-ups </li></ul><ul><li>Acquisition Planning </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamic Re-evals/Implementation Planning </li></ul>The “ 10 Step” Process
  20. 20. The Student <ul><li>What does the student need to do? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the student’s special needs? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the student’s current abilities? </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum issues </li></ul><ul><li>Equal access issues </li></ul>
  21. 21. The Environment <ul><li>What materials and equipment are currently available in the environment? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the physical arrangement? Does it impact the student? What are the special concerns? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the instructional situation? </li></ul><ul><li>What supports are available to the student? </li></ul><ul><li>What resources are available to the people supporting the student? </li></ul>
  22. 22. The Tasks <ul><li>What naturally occurring activities take place in the environment? </li></ul><ul><li>What activities support the student’s curricular goals? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the critical elements of the activities? “Learning opportunities” </li></ul><ul><li>How might the activities be modified? </li></ul><ul><li>How might technology support the student’s active participation? </li></ul>
  23. 23. The Tools <ul><li>What no tech, low tech, and high tech options should be considered when developing a system for a student with these needs, and abilities doing these tasks, in these environments? </li></ul><ul><li>What strategies might be used to invite increased student performance? </li></ul><ul><li>How might these tools be tried out in the customary environments in they will be used? </li></ul>
  24. 24. Feature Match <ul><li>Need to consider: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Abilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Additional Considerations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Input </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Processing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Output </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Trials </li></ul>
  25. 25. Feature Match Examples <ul><li>Student A – 8 th grade </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understands content at grade level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decodes at 3 rd grade level </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Needs to access grade level curricular material independently </li></ul><ul><li>Expectations – achieve and demonstrate knowledge and skills based on ability vs. reading level </li></ul><ul><li>Features – scanned material, auditory feed- </li></ul><ul><li>back, screen reader for research </li></ul>
  26. 26. Action Plans <ul><li>For assessment </li></ul><ul><li>For short term loan trials </li></ul><ul><li>For implementation </li></ul><ul><li>For follow-up </li></ul><ul><li>For evaluation </li></ul>
  27. 27. Assessment Tools - It’s NOT a Test! <ul><li>Circuit ( </li></ul><ul><li>FEAT (Functional Evaluation for Assistive Technology) ( </li></ul><ul><li>SETT ( </li></ul><ul><li>WATI Assessment Format ( </li></ul>
  28. 28. Assistive Technology? Universal Design? (UDL)