I field calls from parents all across North Dakota whose school-aged children with disabilities are receiving services under IDEA. They often have questions about what assistive technology (AT) is available to help their child, how the school assesses their child’s need for AT, and most often where and when their input is considered during the decisions made about the AT used for their child.
The point I make over and over is for them to become very familiar with the IEP and the IEP process. Why? Because the IEP is the vehicle to services under IDEA, and therefore it plays a vital role in AT service delivery. Consideration of the need for AT is a part of every IEP, and must be considered for each child at least annually.
In North Dakota, AT consideration is spelled out on the IEP under Part D: Consideration of Special Factors, question 5.
5. Does the student need assistive technology devices and services? You may refer to the North Dakota Assistive Technology consideration guide to assure assistive technology is considered in all areas of the student’s education.
- ___ No
- ___ Assistive technology to be explored, further consideration needed to determine if assistive technology is necessary
- ___ Yes
The ‘Consideration of Special Factors’ is just the beginning of the AT conversation. To take the conversation further, I would like to share a resource that was put together by Joan Green, a speech language pathologist out of Montgomery County in Maryland. She provides insight which I think parents would find helpful in her document, Getting Started with Assistive Technology. Parents are an integral part of the IEP process, and to educate yourself about that process will help to best educate your child. If IPAT can be of assistance, connect.