A Comprehensive Guide to Assistive Technology Evaluation

The CPIR is committed to making sure that technology is accessible to everyone. In accordance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, we have worked hard to make our website as accessible as possible. Special education technology requires not only technological innovation, but also effective integration, which necessitates comprehensive and systematic evaluation elements. Assistive technology is a tool that helps students benefit from the general education curriculum and access extracurricular activities in various settings.

This checklist is designed to help IEP teams consider the needs of students with disabilities in terms of assistive technology. The systematic use of conceptual and pragmatic frameworks provides schools, parents, and assistive technology specialists with opportunities to achieve coherence and accountability in evaluations. After analyzing the results, an action plan should be developed and incorporated into the IEP as consideration documentation for the assistive technology that will be used to meet the appropriate educational needs of the student in the LRE. The IEP team must determine if a particular child needs an assistive technology device or service and, if so, the nature and scope that will be provided.

Each of the four models has had a “significant impact” on the design and delivery of assistive technology devices and services in schools. Combining people with disabilities and assistive technology requires familiarity and mastery of the characteristics of technological tools. Decisions about using the assistive technology device or service in other environments outside of school should be made on an individual basis. It's important to remember that considering assistive technology and evaluating its role in a student's educational program are an ongoing process.

An assistive technology device, such as a calculator (identified as a low-tech device) could also be used to meet the needs of the student. This can include a variety of interventions achieved through strategies or modifications that are not normally considered to be assistive technology. As with any consideration of the IEP, the goals related to assistive technology depend on the individual needs of the child and should be determined on a case-by-case basis. Toolkits can emphasize procedural aspects of evaluation and provide flow charts to clarify them or list assistive technologies by function in a checklist.Assistive technology increases student opportunities for education, social interactions, and meaningful employment.

It is essential for IEP teams to understand how to evaluate students' needs for assistive technology devices and services so they can make informed decisions about how best to support them.

Violet Martin
Violet Martin

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