TRC will be continuing to provide consultation support to IEP teams for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year through Zoom meetings. These meetings are meant to provide team focused support for any student with assistive technology needs.
Assistive Technology is required to be considered for any student receiving special education services and can include both high tech and low tech options to address a student’s educational and/or communication needs. It is often already a part of a student’s program. An IEP team may seek guidance in order to make the most appropriate recommendations or explore additional AT options. TRC serves as a resource for all IEP teams in order to assist their IEP team to make and implement these technology options. TRC can offer additional technology tools if needed as well as provide training and support to all IEP team members and their families. We offer many solutions in order to assist IEP teams that include weekly Open Labs and Trainings; an AT Consultation is a focused team meeting with identified IEP team members, the student and his/her family whose purpose is to identify targeted technology supports to address identified student needs.
Assistive Technology Consultations must be referred by the school district of residence, and students are usually referred by their classroom teacher, RSP, SLP, OT or program manager. With each referral, one person from the school who directly works with the student should be identified as the “lead AT person” – this is the individual who is most familiar with the needs (not necessarily the technology) and will help ensure that all recommendations are implemented. Multiple IEP team members can be identified for input; a Google doc will be shared with all identified team members and will serve as the report for all AT recommendations.
If you are a parent or outside consultant who would like a consultation, contact your child’s program manager and/or classroom teacher for help in obtaining a referral. Additional options for you are to directly book an Open Lab appointment to explore possibilities in an informal manner. Please note that attendance at an Open Lab does not constitute an assessment, and is not included in a student’s IEP. Feel free to attend all pertinent trainings as these are free to all members of the community and address many of the needs and questions that we see often throughout our districts.
Assistive technology is required to be considered for every student with an IEP and most IEP teams are currently using some form of high or low technology tool as a part of their educational program. Each school and IEP team may have access to their own tools and strategies for addressing individual student’s needs. The Technology Resource Center serves to guide IEP teams to make informed choices when using technology and train all team members on strategies for effective implementation. An Assistive Technology Referral is not mandatory for implementing AT in the school but rather can be utilized if an IEP team needs additional resources or assistance. All consultations must involve at least one member of the school team who works directly with the referred student.
Assistive technology can include not only software and hardware items, but also low-tech supports such as visual highlighters, adapted/colored paper, or whiteboard writing support. Assistive Technology support can also include standard academic tools if those are determined to be the most appropriate tools needed to serve the needs of the student. These low-tech or no-tech tools and strategies and standard academic tools are often a natural part of a student’s program and are not necessarily a part of TRC’s intervention, as we offer support that is considered outside the standard support in a classroom setting.
As defined by IDEA, Assistive Technology Service is:
Whereas it is always the responsibility of the IEP team to assess the needs of a student, Technology Resource Center of Marin can be contacted at any time to assist in all other areas of AT Service including lending, customizing and training of equipment to students, school staff and families.
Assistive Technology evaluations are a collaborative team decision and follow a SETT format to reach appropriate assistive technology decisions about what tools best serve a student’s academic needs. Joy Zabala at CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology) established this framework that has remained the gold standard for evaluating assistive technology needs. TRC follows this framework to guide teams to make appropriate assistive technology recommendations. You can find more about Joy and CAST here: www.joyzabala.com. You can also download SETT documents on our site under Useful Resources and Links.
Student – The student’s needs and skills – completed by the IEP team
Environment – an evaluation of the supports available in school and home environments
Tasks – what a student is being asked to do – IEP goals and daily writing/reading tasks
Tools – what tools are suggested to best serve the student (S) to progress in academic goals (T) in all environments (E)