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How the IEP Team Decides on Assistive Technology

AT assessment diagram

The IEP team at school decides which assistive technology tools each student needs. Many teams make these decisions using something called the SETT Framework. Learn how the overall process works.

Assistive technology can help kids with learning and attention issues use their strengths to work on weak skills areas. It also provides support so that children can handle tasks that would otherwise be difficult.

The IEP team at school decides which tools each student needs. Many teams make these decisions using something called the SETT Framework. Here’s how the overall process works.

Step 1: AT is considered using the SETT framework


Be Understood: The 1 in 5

Kids learn in different ways and at different paces.

It’s important to teach to each student’s individual strengths, skills and needs. This is true for all kids — not just kids with learning and attention issues.

7 Things to Know About the 1 in 5 with Learning and Attention Issues

S is for student's strengths, current performance, and weaknesses in:

  • Reading
  • Math
  • Writing
  • Communication
  • Learning and studying
  • Vision, hearing, and mobility
  • Activities of daily living

E is for learning environment

  • How is the classroom physically arranged?
  • What materials and equipment are used?
  • How is instruction given (small groups, whole class)?

T is tasks for learning

  • What is the class expected to be able to do?
  • Which tasks are essential for your child to be successful?

T is for tools being used to help your child and other tools that may help

The IEP team considers the assistive technology range:

  • Low/no-tech
  • Mid-level tech
  • High-tech

Step 2: Assessment

AT assessment is done to look at your child, the tasks he needs to perform,  types of AT, and how they all work together

Step 3: The team develops a plan and a timeline

  • Your child and teachers are trained in using the AT
  • Data is collected on how well the AT is working
  • The team discusses the data, adds the specific AT to your child's plan, or considers other options

About the author

Amanda Morin is a parent advocate, a former teacher and the author of The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education.

Amanda Morin, Understood (2018)

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For any reprint requests, please contact the author or publisher listed.

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