The school district is sending someone to perform an Assistive Technology assessment on my child. What qualifications must this person have?
Evaluations are usually conducted by assistive technology specialists who have special knowledge and expertise.
1. Your state may have specific requirements for an AT Specialist or Evaluator. Many states do not. You need to check state licensing or certification standards for specialists in assistive technology or other qualified professionals in related fields such as Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech-Language Pathology or Rehabilitation Engineering.
2. What requirements or guidelines does your state DOE provide regarding Assistive Technology? Many states publish AT guidelines that may help answer your questions. You will find your state DOE website on the Yellow Pages for Kids. http://www.yellowpagesforkids.com/help/seas.htm
3. Find out what the experts say in research about AT and AT Evaluations.
We’ve gathered some of the best content on the web from those who have expertise in Assistive Technology. Please use the information and resources on the Assistive Technology page to help answer your questions. https://www.wrightslaw.com/info/atech.index.htm
Dr. Penny Reed, WATI Director describes the AT assessment process as a team effort. “The key to an effective assistive technology evaluation is to use a process that involves both parents and service providers equally.”
On p. 13, Chapter 1, of the WATI Assessment Package, you will find “Who Provides an Assistive Technology Assessment.”
“While school districts may vary in their specific procedures, it is essential that a team of people be involved in any AT assessment.
There are five basic components that must be represented on every team making decisions about assistive technology.
- A person knowledgeable about the student. That may be the student and/or parents or other family members.
- A person knowledgeable in the area of curriculum, usually a Special Education teacher.
- A person knowledgeable in the area of language, usually a Speech/Language Pathologist.
- A person knowledgeable in the area of motor, often an Occupational or Physical Therapist.
- A person who can commit the district’s resources, not only for purchase of devices, but to authorize staff training and guarantee implementation in various educational settings, usually an administrator.
There can be any number of additional team members from such backgrounds. Each student’s team should be unique, customized to reflect the student’s unique needs.”
Many individuals, parents, teachers, therapists, as well as the child, have important pieces of information.
Another good resource:
Demystify the Assistive Technology Assessment Process from the VA DOE Training and Technical Assistance Center at VCU, identifies the seven indicators for a quality AT Assessment.
The AT Evaluator should make recommendations based on your child’s unique need for accommodations, adaptations, devices, and services.
If your child’s needs are complex or you anticipate resistance, ask the AT specialist to join the IEP team. – from Chapter 8, Assistive Technology in Wrightslaw: All About IEPs.