Assistive Technology Consultations
The PACER Simon Technology Center (STC) offers free, informal assistive technology consultations for children and adults with disabilities in Minnesota. Please note this service is separate from our fee-based Individualized Training service.
An assistive technology consultation with the STC is a way to explore assistive technology in a low-pressure, collaborative environment. This is not a formal assessment or evaluation but rather a guided exploration of technology that may help individuals with disabilities become more independent at home, school/employment, and in the community.
Technology Consultation Process
Consultation appointments are scheduled during business hours Monday - Friday. Each consultation lasts approximately one to one-and-a half hours. Please note that all consultations are scheduled directly with your assigned PACER assistive technology specialist only after an application has been received, processed, and assigned.
Typically, you will be contacted by your assigned assistive technology specialist within 5-6 business days after submitting the application. This may vary if submitted around a holiday.
For fastest turnaround, please submit an online application.
For those who prefer to fill out the application by hand, please download, print, and mail the Printable PDF Form to the PACER Center. Please note that mailed applications may require additional processing time.
Please email [email protected] if you need assistance with the application.
The wait for a consultation is approximately 1 - 2 months from the date your consultation application is received. Please note that as consultation demand varies, so does the availability of individual specialists. Applications are accepted on a first come first served basis. Please plan to submit the consultation application far ahead of time if you are hoping to learn about assistive technology prior to an important meeting (IEP/504/etc.), as we are unable to accommodate last minute appointment requests.
Before the Consultation
The assistive technology specialist assigned to your consultation will be in contact to schedule the consultation. Because the consultation is highly customized, the assistive technology specialist will arrange an initial phone call to refine goals and ask further questions to help determine appropriate assistive technology options to demonstrate.
During the Consultation
- We encourage a team approach and welcome family members, teachers, and/or professionals to attend the consultation with the child, teen, or adult with a disability.
- The assistive technology specialist will provide guidance, share resources, and provide an individualized experience based on the information provided on the application form and through goals set for the appointment in pre-consultation communications.
- A variety of assistive technology can be demonstrated and may include software, apps, Chrome extensions, alternative access tools, academic supports, augmentative communication devices, adapted toys, executive function tools, daily living items, sensory supports, and early childhood items.
- At the end of the consultation, the technology specialist may explain STC Lending Library membership options if participants decide they would like to borrow items for trial.
After the Consultation
- Typically, the assistive technology specialist will send a follow up email with information about items shared during the consultation. This may be used as a resource to share with family, professionals, or others but is NOT a formal recommendation suitable for insurance purposes.
- The PACER Simon Technology Center does not sell assistive technology, endorse specific brands, and is not involved in any specific purchase decisions. However, we can provide information about where and/or how to purchase assistive technology.