Including Assistive Technology (AT) in School
Including AT in the schools is guided by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a federal law related to educational services for children with disabilities age birth through 21, in a process called consideration. The consideration of assistive technology is part of the process of developing an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) for children ages birth to 3 and developing an Individual Education Program (IEP) for children ages 3 to 5.
Many providers are using assistive technology but may not recognize it as assistive technology. This lack of understanding about the full range and scope of assistive technology often leads to statements that there is no need for assistive technology when in fact it is written throughout the IFSP or IEP document. The TIKES Project strives to help parents and providers understand the process of consideration and to properly document their consideration in the IFSP and IEP.
Including Assistive Technology in the Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) and Individual Education Program (IEP)
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law related to educational services for children with disabilities age birth through 21. According to this federal law, the use of assistive technology (AT) must be considered during the IFSP or IEP process. However, what this consideration should look like is not outlined in the law. It is generally a short discussion during an initial or annual IFSP or IEP meeting. The TIKES Project has created planning documents to provide families, teachers, and other professionals a way to be intentional about the process of considering assistive technology and ensure it is included in both the process and IFSP/IEP document.
The planning documents, handouts and other supporting materials are included below.
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Handouts to Support Including Assistive Technology
AT looks different for children ages birth to 5 than it does for school aged children and adults. Learn more about measuring quality, quantity, time, effort, behavior changes, and increases in independence as you try AT with your child or student.
The difference between accommodations, modifications, and assistive technology is a common question. Learn more about the distinction between these three types of adaptations using practical early childhood examples.
For parents and professionals, advocating for assistive technology can be an important part of the AT consideration process. Learn more about tips to help you advocate for assistive technology.
Administrators have an important role in leading staff in considering, documenting, and implementing assistive technology. This handout outlines recommendations for administrators to guide the AT consideration process.
IFSP Versions (Ages 0 - 3)
This consideration flow chart walks you through the possible outcomes of consideration for IFSP teams.
Simple, easy to use 2-page document to help IFSP teams discuss and document assistive technology.
An expanded version of the 2-page Child-Centered AT Plan for IFSP teams that are not sure about the assistive technology available to meet the needs of the child or not sure of the assistive technology needs of the child.
IEP Versions (Ages 3 - 5)
This consideration flow chart walks you through the possible outcomes of consideration for IEP teams.
Simple, easy to use 2-page document to help IEP teams discuss and document assistive technology.
An expanded version of the 2-page Child-Centered AT Plan for IEP teams that are not sure about the assistive technology available to meet the needs of the child or not sure of the assistive technology needs of the child.