Students at Emily Dickinson Elementary are now more knowledgeable about the challenges people with disabilities go through every day.
FAQ about Assistive Technology
- Who is an AT Specialist and what is their role?
- Can students bring school-provided AT home?
- Can my student use personal technology?
- What happens to AT when a child moves or graduates?
- Who would benefit from using Assistive Technology in school?
- Who provides AT for a student with a disability?
- What is the process for acquiring AT in LWSD?
- How are AT tools chosen in LWSD?
- How is AT documented in IEPs in LWSD?
- All of the children in my child's secondary school have individual computer devices provided by LWSD. Shouldn't this be listed as Assistive Technology in my child's IEP?
- Are there parent trainings?
Assistive Technology Specialists in LWSD collaborate with IEP teams to determine the AT needs of students and provide the appropriate tools. An AT Specialist's role is to:
- Respond to IEP team requests for support
- Facilitate assessment of student's AT needs
- Acquire AT tools
- Provide follow-up training for IEP team members
- Troubleshoot AT
The IEP team makes the final determination regarding the use of a district-provided device at home. Please see the Acceptable Use Policy, and make sure an Equipment Loan Agreement is signed and on file. All devices remain the property of the school district and must be returned for maintenance annually. Devices should also be returned when your child moves outside of the school district borders.
LWSD has a policy guiding the use of personal assistive technology devices in the district. An IEP team may determine a student can use their own assistive technology at school. In this case, the school district is not responsible to pay for any repair, replacement, or upgrade to the item. While the school will take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of a personal device, it is not liable for damages or loss. Families must sign a release stating that they understand these circumstances prior to the child bringing the device to school.
If the item becomes unusable for any reason the school district is responsible to provide the assistive technology that is required in order for the child to access FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education). That AT may not be the same item as what the family provided, but will have similar features.
Because the LWSD owns the equipment, the district keeps it when a child moves or graduates. To help ensure a successful transition after high school, planning must begin by at least 16 years of age. Planning for your child’s transition to post-secondary education, training, or directly to work is also a critical part of the process. Talk to your IEP manager if you have questions or concerns.
AT may be needed for students with disabilities, who have an IEP or 504 Plan, where accommodations for Assistive Technology can be written as part of their access to FAPE. AT is considered yearly for all students at the annual IEP or 504 meeting. Talk to your IEP case manager if you have questions about your student's need for AT.
The school district provides AT technology for qualifying students with and IEP or 504 Plan to ensure FAPE. The type of technology chosen is based on an IEP team decision and SETT Framework. The device will be provided at no cost and maintained by the district.
When the IEP team is considering AT for a student, the case manager can submit a request for an AT consultation if there are any questions or concerns.
An Assistive Technology Specialist will collect information from the IEP team using the SETT Framework, observe the student or performance information, and facilitate the acquisition of appropriate tools, as necessary. A consultation can be requested at any time, should a student's needs change.
The Assistive Technology tools chosen are specific to each student's need using the SETT Framework. We match features of tools to help students participate and accomplish tasks.
AT supports can range from low-tech tools to high-tech tools, such as dynamic display devices for communication. The LWSD AT team provides tools and supports for reading, writing, math, communication and more.
You can find documentation for AT in the considerations page under Assistive Technology, in the accommodations, and in the present levels. If you have questions about how it is documented, contact your case manager. Assistive technology is documented by feature (i.e. what a tool does) rather than by specific tool. This allows for new technology, replacement technology, or alternate tools on state and district assessments.
When every child is provided with technology, this is considered "educational technology". Educational technology supplements curriculum and instruction. When a student with a disability cannot access their education without the tool, then it is considered "assistive technology", and should be documented appropriately in the IEP. This decision is made by the IEP team.