Assistive Technologies

Ridgefield Public Schools

What is AT?

“An item or piece of equipment or product system either acquired commercially, off the shelf, modified, or customized and used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capability for an individual with disabilities” (Johnston, et.al., 2007).

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) requires that the IEP team consider AT needs in the development of every Individualized Education Program (IEP). Once the IEP team has reviewed assessment results and determined that AT is needed for provision of a free, appropriate, public education (FAPE), it is important that the IEP document reflects the team’s determination in as clear a fashion as possible. The Quality Indicators for AT in the IEP help the team describe the role of AT in the child’s educational program.

(The QIAT Community (Revised, 2012). For additional information visit the QIAT website at http://www.qiat.org. Email joy@joyzabala.com for information on QIAT research. )

Steps for Considering and Providing Assistive Technology at RPS:

FIRST: Review Consideration Steps found HERE , and include the use of the WATI form. Consideration is asking the IEP team "How can AT help this student reach his or her goals and objectives?" in areas where the student is struggling? Consideration must be done each time the team meets to ask again "is AT needed and helping accordingly?" and if not, take action.

SECOND: determine if a CONSULT or an EVALUATION is needed to help in the consideration process: some consultations can be handled by in-district staff, such as PAR (reading) and DeCoste (writing). Contact District AT Specialist Laura Baxter for help with this step if needed. If a CREC evaluation is deemed necessary, contact Asst. Director of Special Services Anthony Showah, or Special Services secretary Patricia McCarthy for support and PO information. Not all students require a consultation. Sometimes the consideration steps are enough to guide the team to trial AT and find a solution.

How to Reflect AT Consideration on the IEP?

While you are considering AT, you may record such information on the summary page of the IEP. For example: "The PPT will consider AT to trial, including reading and writing supports and executive functioning supports, after which the team will reconvene to determine which AT provides the best support for the student to access curriculum and achieve goals and objectives."

Examples of IEP AT Goals: Link to document

Support:

Contact district AT Specialist, Laura Baxter for support before, during and after the evaluation process. Even if CREC is handling a case, Laura will shadow the process and provide support.

To request AT resources such as devices, software or apps, please fill out the Tech Request Google Form found HERE . You may put the student name in this form.

If you are missing a copy of an evaluation, please contact Kathy Carnazza or Patricia McCarthy.

Does your student IEP require text to speech or speech to text? Consider starting with Siri on the iPad, or Read & Write for Chrome. Subscriptions for Read&Write are available. See this page for more information.

Important LInks and Forms:

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) - visit the website!