Wilson County Schools
"For people without disabilities, technology makes things easier. For people with disabilities, technology makes things possible."
ibm training manual 1991
What is the Assistive Technology Team?
- The Assistive Technology Team includes child-centered professionals (OT., PT., SLP., Vision Specialist, Hearing Specialist, Special Education Teacher, etc.) with broad backgrounds in technology, communication, life function, special education and school curriculum.
- Through experience and research, the Assistive Technology (AT) team provides best practices in assessment, team development, curriculum development and adaptations, in-class technical support for student learning, participation, problem-solving and curriculum access through the use of technology.
- The goal of the Assistive Technology Team is to provide resources and the student/staff training necessary so that students with disabilities can participate in appropriate education experiences and communicate what they know.
- The team is available to visit schools to talk with teachers, parents, and therapists about students in special education programs. Team members can suggest solutions, both low and high tech, to help students with the learning process. They can assist with computer and environmental access (switch access), alternative communication, and choosing specialized software. Students may have mild disabilities such as learning disabilities or more significant cognitive or physical disabilities.
- The WCAT Team has a lending library of devices and software available for specific students with needs identified by the team. The equipment and software can be used for evaluation, trial, or on longer-term loan.
What does the Assistive technology Team model look like in wilson county schools?
Wilson County Schools has an AT consultant/AT specialist who provides indirect services to students and assists with the AT assessment process. Direct services are provided through special education services and through the related services from the IEP Team members. We also have an AT Trainer, who is a licensed special education teacher with specific knowledge in assistive technology. In the consultant model, a consultant may have direct interactions with the student during the assessment process, but primarily assists the IEP team with the AT decision making. In this consultant model, the AT specialist may be responsible for providing support services to all IEP teams within a district. The consultant assists teams by evaluating all of the information and offering solutions or suggestions to the IEP team after completing the AT assessment. The number of interactions the specialist can have with IEP teams will be limited by his/her availability.
Types of Assistive Technology
LOW TECH: Tools and items with simple or no electronic parts such as adapted utensils, Velcro fasteners, pencil grips, magnifying glasses, and simple switches
MID TECH: Simple electronic/battery operated items that require little training - tape recorder, static display communication device, calculator
HIGH TECH: Things with motors or multiple electronic parts, such as electronic systems to control the environment, customized powered wheelchairs, dynamic display communication devices and computer access systems. High tech AT usually requires an AT evaluation and training.
Different disabilities require different assistive technologies. AT includes tools and services to help people who have difficulty speaking, typing, writing, remembering, pointing, seeing, hearing, learning, walking, etc.