USING TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE THE LITERACY SKILLS OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
from the student, the environments, and the tasks are used to develop a set of features that the assistive-technology tools must provide to enable the student to learn and function. These features are then used to identify possible assistive technologies for use by the student.
The process continues with the identification of one or more tools to be used during a trial evaluation period. The educational team develops an implementation plan for the trial period that includes both training of the student, teacher, and family in the operation and application of the assistive technology and the collection of performance data. On the basis of the trial implementation, final decisions regarding selection and long-term implementation of the assistive technology are made by the educational team.
It is important to remember that the SETT framework is not a protocol for assessment but rather an organizational tool intended to be an integral, ongoing part of all phases of assistive technology. It is meant to support and encourage broad communication and participation by students, their family members, and education professionals—all of the people on IEP teams and other collaborative groups—as they work together to determine the possible need for assistive-technology devices and services (Zabala, n.d.).
Using Assistive-Technology Assessment Information When Developing IEPs
Whether developed through collaborative problem solving or the use of an assessment framework, the information concerning the assistive-technology devices or services, training supports, or the integration-into-instruction needed must be included in the student’s IEP. The student’s educational progress, data-based needs for the assistive technology, and the effectiveness of any prior assistive-technology use are documented under the Present Levels of Performance section of the student’s IEP. On the basis of this information, the student’s annual goals and objectives are developed.
The Goals and Objectives section of the IEP should specifically reference how assistive technology is used (Chambers, 1997). For example, “Using a portable keyboarding device, student will complete three two-paragraph journaling assignments per week.” Or “Using a text-to-speech digital output, student will read weekly social studies assignments and answer written questions using a speech output word-processing program.”
The assistive technology needed by the student is incorporated into the Adaptations and Accommodations section of the IEP, as is the assistive technology to be used to support state and district testing. And any devices or services needed to support the student in the general education classroom or to support parents or teachers in the use of the assistive technology must be referenced on the IEP in the Supplemental Supports or Services section (Chambers, 1997; Etscheidt & Bartlett, 1999).
The frequency and duration of necessary instruction or training in both the operational and functional use of the assistive technology is specified on the IEP in the Special Education or Related Services section (Chambers, 1997). Finally, an assistive-technology implementation plan that includes a specific date for reviewing the progress of the implementation efforts, as well as the student’s educational progress, can be attached to the IEP as additional documentation, similar to the inclusion of reports of special medical or behavioral needs.
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