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Do you know of an AT screening tool, questionnaire or decision tree, that would aid a teacher in determining if a child would benefit from technology?

Choosing the right assistive technology (AT) tool for a student can be challenging. Fortunately, there are a variety of excellent tools and frameworks to help you make the best decision for your student. Regardless of which framework you choose, the most important factor in any assistive technology assessment is the student. Before even beginning to look at technology tools, you must first review the student’s needs, abilities, and goals. This information will help you determine what type of tool will be the most beneficial for your student.

The SETT (Student, Environment, Task, Tool) Framework is one example of a tool for assessing assistive technology needs. Using this tool, teachers working with the student examine student needs, the environment in which the technology will be used (at home, at school, etc.), and the specific tasks the technology would help the student accomplish (reading a passage independently, interacting with peers, participating in classroom discussions, etc.). Only once these areas have been covered do they move forward and look at specific AT devices.

Another source of assistive technology assessment tools is the Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative (WATI)(opens in a new window). Like the SETT Framework, the materials (opens in a new window) provided by WATI focus first on student needs and learning goals before looking at types of technology tools that might be helpful(opens in a new window). WATI also offers handouts to help schools with an Extended Assessment Plan(opens in a new window); students try several different technology tools for a set amount of time to determine which tool best meets the student’s identified needs.

Once you have a completed an AT assessment for you student and determined what types of technology might be helpful, you might visit the Tech Matrix(opens in a new window) or your local Assistive Technology Center or loan library to find suggestions for specific technology tools. Find your state’s contact at the national registery(opens in a new window).

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