(Adapted from Quality Indicators Assistive Technology (QIAT) Services; Revised, 2005)
An assistive technology assessment is a process conducted by a knowledgeable team, used to identify
tools and strategies to address a student's specific AT need(s). The issues that lead to an AT assessment may be very simple and quickly answered or more complex and challenging.
When is an assistive technology assessment needed?
The need for an assessment is present when student issues are beyond the scope of the problem
solving that occurs as a part of normal service delivery, including the consideration process, general
classroom accommodations, and AT trials. AT assessments are appropriate as part of the Assistive
Technology Decision Making Process (ATDMP) when current accommodations are unsuccessful.
1. Procedures for all aspects of assistive technology assessment should be clearly defined and
consistently applied. Data collected during the assessment should be documented on district
assessment forms (adapted from Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative (WATI)).
Assessment procedures should be a uniform process throughout the district. The assessment team should be trained in initiating the assessment process and conducting formal assessments. There should be consistency throughout the district in the conducting of assistive technology assessments. Procedures may include - but are not limited to - initiating an assessment, planning and conducting an assessment, conducting trials, reporting results, and resolving conflicts.
2. Assistive technology assessments are conducted by a team with the collective knowledge
and skills needed to determine possible assistive technology solutions that address the
needs and abilities of the student, demands of the customary environments, educational
goals and related activities. Who makes up the assessment team?
Team membership is flexible and varies according to the knowledge and skills needed to address
student needs. Individuals from the IEP/AT team, as well as additional supplemental support staff and AT consultants may make up the assessment team. The student and family are also active team members. Various team members bring different information and strengths to the assessment process.
3. All assistive technology assessments include a functional assessment in the student’s
customary environments, such as the classroom, lunchroom, playground, home, community
setting, work place, etc. Assessments should be conducted in the student’s customary enviornment.
The assessment process includes activities that occur in the student's current or anticipated
environments, since the dynamics and demands in each may vary. Team members work together to
gather specific data and relevant information in identified environments to contribute to assessment
4. Assistive technology assessments, including needed trials, are completed within reasonable
timelines. The IEP/AT team determines the assessment timeline. Assessments are initiated in a timely fashion and completed within a time line that is reasonable as determined by the IEP team. The timeline complies with applicable state and agency requirements.
5. Recommendations from assistive technology assessments are based on data about the
student, environments and tasks. Assessment data must be collected.
The assessment includes information about the student's needs and abilities, demands of various
environments, educational tasks, and objectives. Data may be gathered from sources such as
student performance records, results of experimental trials, direct observation, interviews with
students or family members, and anecdotal records.
6. The assessment provides the IEP/AT team with clearly documented recommendations that
guide decisions about the selection, acquisition, and use of assistive technology devices and
services. Data from the assessment is used to drive AT recommendations.
A written rationale is provided for any recommendations that are made. Recommendations may
include assessment activities and results, suggested devices and alternative ways of addressing
needs, individuals responsible for implementing the use of AT, required services and suggested
strategies for implementation and use.
7. Assistive technology needs should be reassessed any time there is a change in student
performance and the student’s needs are not being met with current devices and/or services.
Monitor student success with assistive technology.
The IEP/AT team should monitor and document student success with AT on a regular basis. An
assistive technology assessment is available any time it is needed during the school year. The
parent or any other member of the IEP/AT team can request a re-assessment through the Assistive
Technology Decision Making Process (ATDMP), if a need is present.