Assistive Technology Assessment
By: Carmen Willings
updated April 11, 2020
Assistive technology helps persons who are blind or visually impaired (with and without additional disabilities) increase their access to the general curriculum, improve academic performance, and can also provide a means for job and career access. It is important to thoughtfully consider what devices, tools and technologies will be appropriate to meet the person's individual and unique learning and visual needs. When considering AT devices for students, keep in mind that AT devices should not give students an unfair advantage, but instead, should provide them with the independence to compete effectively with peers.
The majority of persons who are blind or visually impaired will need some form of assistive technology in order access print on paper as well as electronic forms. Assistive technology (AT) also provides a means for producing written information. Each person's unique visual and learning needs must be considered when selecting the appropriate technology. The purpose of the Assistive Technology Assessment is to determine which AT tools are appropriate for meeting the person's current and future needs. Conducting a comprehensive AT assessment should consider the range of tasks the person will be expected to complete in order to be successful in all areas of the educational program and prepare them for independent living and job/career success.
For students, consideration of Assistive Technology (AT) is required during the development of every IEP to ensure the student receives a free and appropriate education. In order to address assistive technology devices and services, teams need to collaborate to determine whether or not an individual student requires assistive technology. If the team determines that the student needs AT, the school district must provide the necessary devices and services.
What is the School Responsible for?
Questions to Ask Prior to Purchasing A.T.
Gather Background Information
Prior to conducting the Assistive Technology Assessment, it is important to gather background information on the student. This should include the following:
Assistive Technology Assessment
The Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) should conduct the initial portion of the assessment, looking at the student strengths and needs and identifying areas of concern. The TVI should provide input in the following areas:
Following the initial AT assessment, the TVI should collaborate with the assistive technology specialist and other team members to assess the student's potential to use more appropriate or sophisticated devices. If the student has additional disabilities, it will be important to include input and additional assessment results from other therapists. Recommendations should be practical, functional and appropriate to meet the student's needs. The team should review the information to determine the most appropriate device(s) for the student. A report should be written to summarize the reason why the student needs the technological tools, the skills the student will need to be instructed in to independently use the tools, and the skills the student needs to care for the tools. The report should also explain the benefits of the tools and how and where they can be obtained. Keep in mind that there is no one solution that will meet all the students needs.
Sign up for free membership to access the FREE VI AT forms and references on the Free VIAT Printables page. Simply click on the Log In | Register link in the navigation bar. If you haven't joined yet, you will be prompted to create a password. Below are just a few examples of the free VI AT Printables.
Assistive technology service means any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device."
Resources to Support You in Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
Sign up for free membership to access the FREE downloadable handbooks and handouts on the Free Printables page along with access to the Goal Bank pages. Simply click on the Log In | Register link in the navigation bar. If you haven't joined yet, you will be prompted to create a password.
Purchase the TVI's Guide to Teaching the ECC Complete Set and immediately unlock the pages within the ECC Complete Set Bonus including bonus printables, interactive sensory stories, interactive matching activities, interactive choice making activities, job task box activities and MORE! This is my way of continuing to support you and say "Thank you!" for choosing to purchase the Complete Set.
Selecting the Right AT for Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired Recorded Presentation
Are you overwhelmed by the process of selecting assistive technology for your students? This presentation will encompass the process and steps of selecting the right assistive technology for students who are blind or visually impaired using the SETT framework. Key points covered in this presentation include identification of the current problem; consideration of current skills; understanding unique visual and learning needs; awareness of AT for VI; AT equipment considerations; the process of building a toolkit; instructional strategies; and next steps.
Request a Certificate of Completion
To receive a certificate of completion for 1 contact hour, complete the short "Selecting the Right AT" quiz on Google Forms and receive a score of at least 80%. Don't worry. If you don't pass, you can re-watch the presentation and retake the test! If you have any accessibility issues with the form, please don't hesitate to let me know and we can make other arrangements.
Presentations are recorded PowerPoint presentations. You must be able to access PowerPoint to view the PowerPoint presentation. Please note that the presentation pages are closed member pages available to individuals who have purchase access to the presentation.
*Please contact me if you need to purchase using a purchase order. I am happy to help guide you in the process of adding Teaching Students with Visual Impairments as an approved vendor for your school or program or you can visit the product support page for information on using a PO.
The vendors on this page specialize in materials and equipment specifically for people who are blind or visually impaired. Some products are available exclusively by the vendor while other materials are available commercially.
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